Longtime police department volunteer gets a raise

January 16, 2007|by TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - A person who volunteers to work without receiving a paycheck is truly dedicated to the job. Barbara Cirigliano did just that for the past nine years, doing administrative work for the Town of Bath Police Department in Berkeley Springs.

Cirigliano retired to Berkeley Springs in 1996 after completing 30 years as a secretary with the Prince George's County (Md.) school system.

Her husband was a Washington, D.C., policeman for many years, she said, so she knew something about police departments. Before he was able to retire, her husband had a heart attack and died. He was 41 and she was 39.

Cirigliano said she worked in a high school guidance department during the school year during the day and two nights a week. During the summer months, she was secretary to the principal. She left when she was 60.


"I was a workaholic," she said.

She discovered Berkeley Springs after her stepparents moved from Maryland to Great Cacapon, W.Va. When her stepmother died, she moved to Berkeley Springs to take care of her stepfather.

After settling in her new home, Cirigliano said she learned the Bath Police Department needed someone to work in the office, but there was no money to pay anyone. She volunteered her mornings five days a week, she said.

"It was a way to learn where I live, and I needed something to do," she said.

She said she always wanted to be a policewoman, but in the "olden days," women were not allowed in the field and four years of college with a degree in sociology was needed. Women worked as social workers in the police department then, she said.

When the new police chief, James Minton, was hired recently, Cirigliano said he needed someone to work a full day, so they mutually agreed for her to work 32 hours a week, with pay, as an administrative assistant, and it was approved by the Bath Town Council on Dec. 18.

"I wanted to push for this as soon as I was hired," Minton said. "I am extremely lucky to have Barbara here working, and she is a very valuable asset to the department.

"I like the people and I like the job," she said. "I know my services are needed and my work here is satisfying."

Her responsibilities include processing business licenses and building permits, monitoring parking tickets, preparing citation reports for police use, preparing a weekly report of Bath police activities, as well as preparing general office correspondence and manning the telephones.

At 69, she's been performing an administrative role for more than 45 years, she said. "It keeps my mind sharp."

She has worked for four Bath police chiefs, she said.

"It's been a great experience to work for these people. I love small towns and this is family," she said.

About seven years ago, Cirigliano won the Berkeley Springs Volunteer of the Year award, and Mayor Susan Webster said Cirigliano has been nominated by the Town of Bath for the state Volunteer of the Year award.

Cirigliano said the Bath Police Department includes Chief Minton and Cpl. Craig Pearrell as full-time employees as well as Richard Haynes, who is not yet certified as a police officer until he completes the W.Va. State Police Academy training in Charleston, W.Va.

Former chief of police, Capt. Tony Lynch, works part time as do officers, Tim Johnson and Ken Winters. Gene Kilduff works part time as the parking enforcement officer, she said.

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