MAHONING TOWNSHIP -- A community in Montour County that has been without a police chief for more than a year now has a top cop.
Mahoning Township lost its chief last January when that chief was caught "huffing" from a can of compressed air inside the police station.
It was a packed room at the Mahoning Township Municipal Building as folks came out for a supervisors meeting to watch the swearing in of the new police chief.
The Mahoning Township Police Department has been without a top cop for more than a year.
Now Sean McGinley of Elysburg, a 25-year veteran with the Pennsylvania State Police, will head the department.
It`s a far cry from a meeting nearly one year ago when the supervisors put the now former police chief on unpaid administrative leave pending a criminal investigation.
Something one of the supervisors noted at the start of this meeting.
“Nice to see a crowd like this to honor our chief instead of people coming in to complain,” said Ken Woodruff.
Former Police Chief Chad Thomas was charged in December 2015 after he was caught 'huffing' from a can of compressed air inside the police station early that year.
He was eventually let go from the department after pleading guilty to possession in May 2016.
Now both Chief McGinley and the people he will serve and protect say it`s time to move on from that.
“I think it`s important to look forward and not look in the past,” said Chief McGinley. “I`d like to see what we`re doing well and improve upon things that maybe we can do better, so I`m forward looking right now.”
“It`s time we get this thing settled and get some good cops from here,” said Linda Weaver. “I think he`ll make a great chief.”
“Now we`re back on track and everything should be good to go forward,” said Pam Stetler.
Chief McGinley was selected from 20 candidates in a hiring process that took about nine months.
His first order as chief will be to hire two new officers, bringing his department to five officers.