Longtime Lehighton police patrolman to take over as non permanent chief

LEHIGHTON, Pa. – A longtime Lehighton police officer will take over the division because the borough searches for a brand new chief, the borough’s mayor introduced Wednesday.

Gabe Szozda, who Mayor Clark Ritter stated has been with the division greater than 15 years, and beforehand held the rank of patrolman, assumes the place as non permanent chief instantly. He replaces Chief Brian Biechy, who has retired.

Borough Council authorized Szozda’s appointment Tuesday night time, after a 90-minute government session, however deferred the announcement to Ritter.

“Gabe may be very educated concerning the job, he’s even-tempered and he will get together with all people within the station,” Ritter stated. “These are the three huge issues so far as I’m involved. He’s an excellent man.”

Szozda will stay within the job till a brand new chief is chosen, Ritter stated.

Council additionally Tuesday authorized a memorandum of understanding with Biechy, which Ritter stated pays him accrued annual go away, sick go away and private days. Ritter stated he didn’t instantly have the overall paid to Biechy.

Biechy gave discover at council’s Dec. 6 assembly that he would retire after serving within the division 34 years and as chief for 9.

Biechy stated then he would step down Aug. 10, however “the borough made a proposal to pay him for these [accumulated] days, and he accepted it and retired as of yesterday,” Ritter stated.

Biechy’s wage this yr was $88,400 a yr. An commercial posted in March for the place listed the wage vary at $90,000 to $100,000 a yr, and stated a minimum of 15 years of regulation enforcement expertise, with 5 in a command place, is required.

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Together with the chief, the division has 11 full-time officers.