The Grove City Police Department will soon have a new patrolman.

Borough council members on Jan. 21 agreed to hire Darryl Webb under the condition he passes psychological and physical exams and a drug screening.

Aaron Shawgo left the department in October, and the civil service process to look for a replacement started with five candidates, said Vance Oakes, borough manager.

In the end, it came down to Webb and Adam Steiner. Grove City Police Chief Dean Osborne recommended Webb for the position based on his previous experience.

Webb lives in Grove City, works as a campus supervisor at George Junior Republic, is a part-time patrolman in New Sewickley Township, and graduated in 2020 from the police academy at the Community College of Beaver County.

He’s a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in criminology and excelled in basketball, and he’s played for an international basketball league.

The civil service commission also recommended Webb. He will be a good fit and will likely start in February, Osborne said.

Steiner works as a barista in Franklin and is a police academy graduate, Oakes added. 

In other business at the meeting, council members:

• Agreed to advertise ordinance 1476, which is a memorandum of understanding with the Mercer County Critical Incident Response Team. The Grove City Police Department is part of CIRT, Oakes said.

CIRT responds to high-risk situations, and its members are highly trained and equipped with things like an armored vehicle and protective gear, Osborne said.

• Agreed to advertise ordinance 1477, which would reduce Grove City Planning Commission from nine to six members. The commission went from five to nine members in 1974, Oakes said.

There are currently seven members, and Mark Archibald will soon be stepping down. He could stay on as alternate member, Oakes said.

• Authorized the purchase of a 2021 Ford Police Interceptor from McCandless Ford for $39,886.

• Tabled a field use agreement with the Grove City Pony League baseball organization for use of the high school and JV baseball fields at Memorial Park.

• Agreed to extend the COVID-19 paid leave policy for borough employees through March 31.

• Approved these appointments: James Poulos, planning commission; Richard Briggs, zoning hearing board; Brad Morgan and Gary Forsythe, civil service commission; and Tom Nesbit, vacancy board.

• Agreed to have Osborne update the police department’s “use of force” policy to prohibit the use of choke holds except where deadly force is allowed by law.

This is in line with a presidential order made in 2020 about safe policing, and the update ensures the borough will continue to be eligible to receive federal funding for things like bulletproof vests, Oakes said.

It will also be reviewed by the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association, which is certified to do the accreditation, Osborne said.

• Agreed to enter into a settlement agreement with HomeTown Community Rentals Inc. for two properties it owns at 138 N. Broad St. and 108 Lincoln Ave. The two properties have been condemned following ordinance violations.

A court order calls for a remediation plan; the residential structure on Broad must be demolished by May 20. For the neighboring commercial property on Lincoln, HTCR must apply for a building permit by May 30; that must include drawings prepared by a state-certified architect or engineer, Oakes said.

The rehabilitation work will be inspected Nov. 30, and all work must be complete and a certificate of occupancy issued on or before May 30, 2022. The borough’s goal is to get the properties into compliance, avoiding fines and penalties for the owner.

Council member Jeff Hodge abstained from the vote because he owns the property at 138 N. Broad St., which could be considered a potential conflict of interest. 

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