Reynoldsville Borough Council takes action to hire a chief of police

After presenting the Citizen of the Month Award to Dr. James O’Bryon (see related story on reynlownews.com), the Reynoldsville Borough Council went into an executive session for about twenty minutes to discuss “legal matters” with Borough Solicitor Joe Ryan. When they returned, they took action on the borough police department.

In his comments, Borough Council President William Cebulskie said that the council police committee met with the Sandy Township Police Department to discuss possible regionalization. While he described it as a positive meeting, Cebulskie said “It’s not going to fit the [police] contract we’re under right now for anything they’re suggesting.”

Council police committee member Max Smith said that while it was a productive meeting with Sandy Township, “it’s just not the right time, especially with [possible] consolidation [between DuBois and Sandy Township]”

Smith then made the motion to “move forward to hire a chief.” Council member Darren Scolese seconded the motion and it was approved.

Cebulskie later explained to those gathered that the council was going to replace former Police Chief Troy Bell, who left this past spring to take a position with the Brockway Police Department.

Borough residents Leeanne Toombs and Stacy Snedden asked about the status of former Borough Police Officer Tammy Murray, who was working part time in 2020 and then lost her position when the council voted not to fund a part time police position in its 2021 budget.

In June of 2020, the union representing the police department, Teamsters Local #110, filed an unfair labor practice against the borough on behalf of Murray. Reynlow Community News has not received any information as of yet on the status of that proceeding.

Toombs asked about that filing, but Solicitor Ryan said he was not at liberty to discuss it.

“I just don’t want to violate any rules or any procedures in regards to any ongoing matters,” Ryan said. He did say he would check into it and if he was able to comment on it, he would.

For her part, Snedden expressed her concern over the council’s action to hire a new chief.

“If the board approves a new hire, then that means we’ll have another litigation because the contract is for five years and you never laid [Murray] off. So my question is–is that going to be another litigation down the road or is this just a stall to get us to be quiet?”

Solicitor Ryan was quick to respond.

“Sergeant Murray’s position was eliminated through the budget. So this isn’t any sort of a stall, this is council moving forward to hire a chief to replace…Chief Bell,” he said.

No timeline was discussed.

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