Chambersburg gets new police chief

September 16, 2008|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- Nine months after former chief Michael DeFrank retired, the Chambersburg Borough Council on Monday unanimously appointed his successor, former York City Police Department Capt. David Arnold.

A 24-year-veteran, Arnold was second in command of the 104-member York department. Tuesday will be his first day on the job running the 33-officer Chambersburg Police Department.

"We like to keep swearing to a minimum," Council President William McLaughlin joked when asked if there would be a swearing-in ceremony.

"Somebody said to me I'll get sworn in tonight and sworn at tomorrow," Arnold replied.

Borough Manager Eric Oyer said Arnold's salary will be $78,400.

Assistant Borough Manager David Finch said Arnold, 47, was selected from a field of about 70 applicants for the job DeFrank held for 25 years. The selection committee unanimously recommended Arnold to the council for the position, he said.


"He passed all the tests and he passed them with flying colors," said Mayor Peter Lagiovane, who was also on the selection committee. "He comes from this kind of community. He shares our values."

"I think it's a really nice community and it's going to be my job to keep it that way," said Arnold, who is originally from Lebanon, Pa. Life for a police officer in York is "a couple of notches faster," but Chambersburg has the same problems with drugs and other criminal activity as any other community, he said.

"That's what I'm going to start finding out tomorrow," Arnold said when asked what are the most pressing issues for the department. Arnold said he will be learning about the department and the community in his first weeks on the job and wants to hear opinions from the council, police officers and residents about the department's future.

Arnold said he does not expect a difficult transition to his new position, considering his roots.

"I'm a small-town guy," he said.

During the period between DeFrank's retirement and Arnold's appointment, most of the department's administrative and operational chores were managed by its sergeants, McLaughlin said.

The hiring of Arnold fills the second major department vacancy this year. In April, the council hired Terry Osborne as the borough emergency services chief, a position which had been vacant for more than two years.

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