Police chief eyes judge seat


Grove City’s police chief is one of the latest candidates to throw his hat into the ring for magisterial district judge of eastern Mercer County.

“When the opportunity became available, I was excited about it,” Dean Osborne said on Monday.

This is his first time running for office. The Pine Township resident is cross-filing on the Republican and Democratic tickets on the May 18 spring primary ballot and will be facing Douglas Gerwick and Doug Straub for Magisterial District Court 35-3-02, which is based in Pine Township.

District Judge D. Neil McEwen, who has run that court for the past 11½ years, is running for Mercer County Court of Common Pleas judge.

Osborne, who was born and raised in Pulaski, moved to the Grove City area in 1989, when he started working at the Grove City Police Department as a patrolman.

He was named assistant chief in 2000 followed by chief in 2002.

He’s always been interested in police work and was inspired by an uncle who was an FBI agent.

Osborne has enjoyed serving the Grove City area and would like to continue to do so in a different capacity.

“I like the fact that it’s a tight-knit community,” he said.

His family, which includes his son and parents, is supportive of his decision to pursue this new challenge.

He has already spent a lot of time at the district judge’s office, where criminal and civil cases get their start.

He respects all of the judges he’s worked with over the years

Serving as a district judge would be a great opportunity for him to use his experience and further advance his career.

“I’ve based my whole career on honesty and integrity,” Osborne said.

The district judge position is a six-year term. The jurisdiction covers the townships of Deer Creek, French Creek, Jackson, Lake, Liberty, Mill Creek, New Vernon, Pine, Sandy Lake, Wolf Creek and Worth; and the boroughs of Grove City, Jackson Center, New Lebanon, Sandy Lake and Stoneboro.

The district is one of the largest in the county, and Osborne said he’d like to be able to serve more people.

Magisterial district judges conduct trials for traffic offenses, issue search warrants, preside over arraignments and preliminary hearings, and set bail.

A district judge must be fair and impartial while also being firm and able to make decisions. Osborne feels that his professional and personal experiences would make him a good fit for judge.

He has a degree in police science from Youngstown State University, is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, and has attended more than 200 training courses that cover all aspects of law enforcement.

Osborne has served as president of Mercer County Chiefs of Police, president of the Northwestern Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police, and president of Fraternal Order of Police Tri-City Lodge 50.

He is chairman of the board of directors for the Mercer County Critical Incident Response Team and serves on the legislative committee for the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police.

He has served as president of Grove City Little League and as a coach and manager.

Osborne spent time on the Grove City Revitalization board to help restore downtown Grove City, and he is president of the local chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, having held the position since 2005.

He is a member of Pulaski United Methodist Church, and is an avid outdoorsman, enjoying hunting, fishing and riding his motorcycle.

If elected, he would miss time spent at the police station.

“I would probably miss my guys the most,” he said of his staff.

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