Police chief calls for internal reorganization

Times-Herald Newspapers

HEIGHTS – The time has come for a proposed organizational restructuring of the police department, Police Chief Lee Gavin said during a special city council meeting June 21.

“Our goal, early on, when we talked budget was we’re going to reorganize and have one chief and two deputy chiefs,” he said. “Now would be the time to do it.”

Gavin said that the departure of Capt. Richard Duffany, who resigned from the police department June 1 to take the chief of police job in Hamburg Township, left open a deputy chief position with Capt. Jeffrey Siepenko, who is in charge of the Investigative Services Division, would be named to the position of deputy chief, with about a $5,000 raise, according to Gavin.

Under Gavin’s proposal, eliminating the position of captain and making them deputy chiefs would take them out of the union, and allow for more flexibility for assignments.

“The two deputy chiefs assume the captain’s position,” Gavin said. “One takes the road, one takes the administrative section.”

Gavin added that Siepenko also would not have to be tested since he would be grandfathered into the position.

“He’s already a captain,” Gavin said. “There’s no one to write against.”

Councilwoman Elizabeth Agius said the proposed reorganizationmethod would not accomplish the council’s goal.

“That three-tiered system doesn’t take care of what we want to do, which is flatten the top,” she said. “We want to get rid of a layer.”

(Daniel Heraty can be reached at dheraty@bewickpublications.com.)