Jun. 15—Jefferson Hills officials tapped a law enforcement veteran from Bethel Park as their new police chief.
Ron Dziezgowski Jr. was appointed unanimously as head of the department and sworn in to his new role Monday night.
He was accompanied by his wife, Cindy, as Mayor Janice Cmar administered the oath.
"I'm excited to get started," Dziezgowski said. "I was drawn to the community by its growth potential. It's a tight-knit group and it's a family-oriented atmosphere. It's a well-established community. Everybody's real close here, and that's what I like. Bethel Park is very similar.
"Initially, I just want to get out there and meet the residents and community leaders. I think networking is important, getting to know the community. I'm not from here. I want to take a good look at the department and see what I need to do."
Jefferson Hills has 20 full-time officers including the chief.
Dziezgowski will be filling the shoes of Gene Roach, who called it a career in late December after nearly 40 years in law enforcement.
Lt. Kevin King served as Jefferson Hills' officer in charge during the chief search.
"I am pleased with where I'm at right now," King said about returning back to his post. "I'm very pleased with the selection. I've known chief Dziezgowski pretty much my entire career of 19 years. I think we're in good hands and I look forward to working with him to get a lot of good things done."
Dziezgowski is expected to start July 1 right after retiring as Bethel Park's administrative lieutenant. He has been with that department for more than 26 years.
The Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association assisted with Jefferson Hills' search. A pool of 22 candidates was narrowed down to seven for interviews.
"They scored him in the top of the group," council Vice President Dave Montgomery said of Dziezgowski. "He seemed like he really had a command of what police work entails. He did many different functions in Bethel Park. He would take hold right away and take them to a higher level."
Montgomery and council President Karen Bucy declined to disclose the police chief's salary and compensation.
This year's borough budget has $125,000 allocated for a police chief.
Dziezgowski grew up in Scott Township and lives in Bethel Park with his wife and their four children.
He followed in his father's footsteps, as well as his uncle Joseph Cyprowski's, when deciding to become an officer.
Dziezgowski Sr. worked as a patrolman for Scott Township for 44 years. Cyprowski was the township's police chief for many years. Both have since passed on.
"I'm a third generation," said Dziezgowski, 51. "I think it's a vital role. Public service has no better place than in a person's heart and soul."
He graduated from Chartiers Valley High School in 1987, earned a business degree in managerial information systems at Duquesne University, a master's degree in legal studies from California University of Pennsylvania and graduated from the FBI National Academy Session 275.
Dziezgowski Jr.'s first law enforcement job was as an officer with the Port Authority of Allegheny County from 1993 to 1995.
Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at 412-871-2367, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .