New Castle News

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April 30, 2012

Officials explore alternatives for city hall security

NEW CASTLE — New Castle officials are exploring alternatives for providing security at city hall.

The original plan of hiring two retired police officers didn’t work out, according to Mayor Anthony Mastrangelo.

In March, city council approved contracts with Joseph Lombardo and Allan Nocera to provide armed security at city hall because the police department has moved to its new home at North and East streets.

The contract called for paying the men $13 per hour during city hall business hours. Only one officer was to be on duty at a time.

Mastrangelo said Lombardo, who served as Union Township chief, had planned to work two days a week. However he could not obtain liability insurance for two days a week, Mastrangelo said.

The city decided not to contract with Nocera after it had conducted a background check, the mayor said. Nocera is a former Shenango Township chief.

Mastrangelo and council briefly discussed possible alternatives at council’s work session last week. Police Chief Bobby Salem is involved in those discussions, Mastrangelo said.

One possibility is to use part-time city police officers. The 2012 city budget has four open slots for part-time officers.

The city will be administering an entry-level civil service test Saturday. As of Friday, the city had 28 applicants, Mastrangelo said.

A full-time position also is open as a result of Salem’s promotion earlier in the year to chief.

The city also plans to talk with the Fraternal Order of Police about the possibility of using off-duty officers at city hall. Solicitor Jason Medure suggested negotiating an agreement with the FOP that would run through the remainder of this year.

A third alternative would be contracting with a security firm.

(Email: jmanna@ncnewsonline.com)

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