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Martinsburg Hires Third Full-Time Police Officer

 


Martinsburg Borough Council made history on Monday, May 6, with the hiring of the police department’s first-ever third full-time officer,

Logan K. Tornatore of Altoona was named the borough’s new full-time police officer. He joins Chief of Police Kerry L. Hoover and Sgt. Justin Davis as the three full-time officers.

Tornatore, who currently works full-time for the Saxton Borough Police Department and part-time with Martinsburg, will officially begin his new duties on Monday, May 20. He is also the school resource officer at Forbes Road.

The council has budgeted a starting salary for a third full-time officer at $17 per hour for the first six months, with an increase in pay following that period.

“I am extremely happy with the hiring of a third-time police officer,” Chief Hoover said. He has asked council for years to have a third full-time officer.

Chief Hoover said Tornatore’s job will include clerical work and working the streets. The chief said the clerical work will be shared between the three full-time officers.

“This will be a quick transition for everyone,” Chief Hoover said. “Logan is not a newbie anymore and he knows the area and the people.”

The addition of another full-time officer will help cover shifts and it gives the department extra coverage, Chief Hoover said.

Police Civil

Service Commission

With the hiring of a third full-time officer, council is required to establish a Police Civil Service Commission. Council has several months to set up the commission.

The commission – with a minimum of three members and no more than six who are appointed by the borough council – will oversee written and physical agility tests and interviews of applicants for the position of future full-time officers. The commission would then give its recommendations to council. The chief of police will also do a background check on the person that the commission will propose to council. Council will make the final vote when it comes to the hiring of an officer.

The commission will not have regular meetings, but rather will meet as needed. The chief of police said the commission will have its own solicitor separate from council.

Commission members – who must be residents of the borough – will have six-year terms that will be staggered every two, four and six years.

In attendance at the May meeting were four people interested in serving on the commission. Interested in serving are Todd Bookhammer, Chris Brooks, James Caporuscio and Lawrence Johnson.

Chief Hoover said that council will need to look at all four as members of the commission or have three members and one alternate.

Fireworks Ordinance

Council hopes to adopt a fireworks ordinance prior to the Fourth of July holiday. Chief Hoover and the borough’s solicitor, Gieg Law Offices LLC, Altoona, are working out the final details of the ordinance.

Chief Hoover said the ordinance may be similar to the one Roaring Spring Borough Council passed on Dec. 10.

Roaring Spring’s ordinance permits the discharge of fireworks within a 24-hour period prior to and immediately after certain holidays. Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day and Veterans Day are the listed holidays. Consumer fireworks in the borough may only be set off between the hours of 4 p.m. and 10 p.m., and cannot be ignited or discharged on public or private property without permission of the owner.

Fireworks cannot be ignited or discharged from a motor vehicle or building and cannot be discharged within 150 feet of an occupied structure. The ordinance forbids any person under the age of 18 from discharging fireworks.

If the ordinance is not ready by the June 3 meeting, council may have to advertise a special meeting in order to adopt it ahead of the holiday.

In other business, Martinsburg Borough residents will now pay their real estate and per capita taxes at the municipal building, located at 110 S. Walnut St., instead of at the 214 S. Market St. location beginning in July during designated hours. Council approved to let the municipal building be the tax collection site beginning in July until the end of the year to see how it goes. Tax collection hours will remain the same: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and 2 to 7:30 p.m. the last three business days of the discount and face periods.

Edward L. Bennett, chairman of the Streets Commission, reported that the borough streets are pretty much all swept and cleaned up from winter. He said borough employees will paint lines and spray for weeds along the curbs in the next few weeks.

Due to a possible change of residency, Mayor Rex L. Hartman may resign as soon as next month’s meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, June 3.

 

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