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Five new officers join police department reserves

March 20, 2014
By J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

At the March 10 meeting of the Austintown Township trustees, five new reserve officers took the oath of office. Police Chief Bob Gavalier said it filled an empty slot in his department.

''We were at zero reserve officers, now we are at five,'' Gavalier said. ''We hope to build it up to 10-15 officers, but every time we bring more on, we end up making them full time.''

He said the department has experienced a lot of retirements in recent years and the reserve force is where replacement personnel are drawn from. In the last couple of years, reservist officers took the oaths and months later found themselves in a full time job on the force.

Article Photos

Photos by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Five new reserve officers took the oath of office at last week's Austintown Township meeting. The oath was administered by Township Fiscal Officer Laura Wolfe (far right) to David Rapone, Lea Byers, Mark Sember, David Kriebel and James Ritter.

Gavalier said it is not a simple task to just bring new reserve officers on board either. The candidates have to be screened and extensive background checks done.

''The process is not an easy one to go through,'' said Trustee Jim Davis, ''but I never could have imagined the success we have had with this program.''

Davis told the five new recruits, David Rapone, Mark Sember, Lea Byers, David Kriebel, and James Ritter, following their searing in, that they were now part of the most elite township police department in the state of Ohio.

Following the swearing in, Sam Swoger and Gary Kommel from American Legion Post 301 in Austintown made a special presentation. Swoger said Gavalier, Det. Jordan Yacavone and assistant prosecutor Ken Cardinal had played an important part in captured a thief that was stealing grave markers and trying to sell them for scrap. According to Swoger, the thief was claiming to be from an American Legion Post.

''We just wanted to say thanks for solving the case and bringing this guy to justice,'' he said.

In other business trustees:

* Approved a motion to declare 580 North Turner Road as a nuisance property.

* Heard from chairwoman Lisa Oles who said the Habitat for Humanity home for a veteran has begun on New Road. She asked that the community get involved and help in getting the home finished.



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