WILKES-BARRE — The city of Wilkes-Barre has more manpower to fight crime: 10 new officers were sworn in on Thursday.
And one of them is a familiar face in law enforcement.
There are very few days when the Wilkes-Barre Police Department can celebrate. This was one of them as 10 new officers were sworn in.
“He’s worked hard all of his young life to get to where he wanted to be and this is exactly what he wants to do, and he’s very, very proud. We’re very proud of him,” said Patty Roper, the mother of one of the new officers.
Among the new officers is one very familiar face: Dan Duffy.
“Dan Duffy is the former chief of police of Scranton. I know everybody’s wondering that out there. He’s also a very good friend of mine, and we’re happy to have him on board,” said Wilkes-Barre Police Chief Gerry Dessoye.
In fact, eight of the 10 new officers have field experience already. That’s a plus for a department that Mayor Tom Leighton says could use extra people on the streets.
“With the addition of 10 officers today, bringing the compliment up to 85, I’m confident that the streets will be safer with these new officers,” said Mayor Leighton.
Leighton budgeted for the new officers after the force decreased in numbers in the past few years.
“I hope with the addition of the officers that the community feels safer and people can trust the police and see that there is good in the city of Wilkes-Barre,” Roper added.
As for former Scranton Police Chief Dan Duffy, Chief Gerry Dessoye says he’s an asset to the department.
“He had a phenomenal reputation as a street police officer when he was in Scranton. He told me this is what he wants to get back to doing. He wants to do basic police work, and I welcome him.”
As a rule, all Wilkes-Barre police officers must live within 13-and-a-half miles of the city. Duffy has six months to relocate to follow that rule.
But the extra manpower that he and the other nine officers can offer will be immediate.