Dwyer’s Title in Question

New interim chief in administrative role

While nobody questions the resume Richard Dwyer built during a 36-year law enforcement career, many Dormont residents are questioning his latest title.

Council recently hired him as the interim administrative acting police chief. He replaces former chief Phil Ross, who was demoted to patrolman. He is earning $5550 per month with no health benefits.

Dwyer is a retired Wilkinsburg police chief, former Pittsburgh lieutenant and also served as a part-time officer in Edgewood. He is also a graduate of the FBI Academy and taught at the Allegheny County Police Academy. Additionally, he holds a degree in chemistry and biology from Duquesne University.

But because his Act 120 clearances, which grant police officers law enforcement capabilities, have expired, his role in Dormont will be an administrative one.

He cannot do shift work or make arrests, according to borough Manager Gino Rizza. Dwyer was hired for “his administrative ability and leadership ability,” Rizza said.

Because he’s not in a uniformed position, Mayor Tom Lloyd refused to swear him in Tuesday night, and residents have suggested he needs a different title, comparing the new departmental setup to that of Cranberry.

Cranberry has a public safety director, who serves in an administrative role, reports to the township manager and serves as a liaison to the volunteer fire company and EMS agencies. Lieutenant is the highest rank in the 28-officer Cranberry Police Department.

“It works very well for us,” said Jerry Andree, Cranberry township manager.

Public safety directors earn between $72,000 and $104,000 a year, Andree said, which is comparable to police chiefs.

“It’s not about money. It’s about managing resources and relationships,” he said.

Andree said there are strong relationships among first responders in the township.

“It’s easier to have relationships when a non-uniformed director is at the helm. There are no turf issues, and nobody is favored,” he said.







Leah Petrilli July 08, 2011 at 10:41 AM
LOL..yes Im going to say it..Dormont isnt Cranberry. Isnt that the response when this council talks about overtime and the number of officers we have(had)? "Its only Dormont..its only a mile in size". I really fail to see how we need this person and for an extra $5550.00 a month..for now.. to boot. Im sure he is also, like Rizza, going to be getting secret bonuses that will fail to be acknowledged by council. And when I asked council about this person's liability and risk management issues at a meeting I was met by blank stares..including from the $160.00 per hour attorneys and Dwyer himself. Dont you think that issue should have been discussed and verified before hiring this individual? I would think that Mr. Dwyer himself would have asked and verified in writing that issue before agreeing to take this position. However I guess the allure of $5550.00 a month for sitting at a desk was blinding and too good to pass up.
Just Mom July 08, 2011 at 01:01 PM
This is Apples to Oranges. Dormont is a Borough and Cranberry a Township. My understanding is that townships do not have a mayor. Some townships do have a liason between the police dept and borough manager and others do have a chief. Boroughs have an elected mayor therefore do not need this administrative position. T he police department in a borough reports to the mayor. Besides I thought Joan was Public Safety.
MSgt. John DeLallo July 08, 2011 at 01:33 PM
Be careful, there, Just Mom. You are approaching this from the standpoint of logic, and while many Dormonters will understand this, using logic will simply stimy boro council. I sure wish I could vote in the November elections over there. I'm also sure they hired Mr. Dwyer to spite Chief Ross and the Mayor. Dad used to tell me all the time, when you're in a hole, the very first thing you want to do is drop the shovel. I guess that little pearl of wisdom will escape council as well.
Go Dormont July 08, 2011 at 03:44 PM
I don't care what you call him -he's going to do a great job. Lots of good work happens from behind a desk - though I doubt he'll spend even 50% of his time there. Leah - for all you 107+ comments that do no good but stroke your ego couldn't you volunteer for your community? There are thousands of residents to help and you spend your time agreeing with the other 15 people that regularly comment on the patch - but hey if that's what you need to do to feel like you're making a difference...please continue! ;)
Kyle July 08, 2011 at 04:36 PM
Talk about ego stroking...
BORN & RAISED IN DORMONT July 08, 2011 at 04:54 PM
Well said Kyle You know its bad when some on knows how many post someone has made on here. Go Dormont you have quiet a few post on here as well isn't their someone you could be helping instead of getting on here sticking your foot in your mouth? We all ready know you already have a big enough ego that you continue to stroke yourself so if that make you feel better than go for it. We know that you are not going to be making a difference so move along.
Bryan July 08, 2011 at 05:03 PM
Go Dormont, how can you predict that Mr. Dwyer will do a great job? I hope for Dormont's sake he does but you have to question his motives. What kind of former police officer would step into this mess? He has done some good things at past jobs but he has also made questionable comments and caused problems at past jobs as well. So which Dwyer is Dormont getting? At this point he appears to be a hired gun to the tune of $5,500 a month, does he really care about Dormont or is this a money grab? I would prefer to have a Chief who lives in this borough and has a stake.
Leah Petrilli July 08, 2011 at 10:31 PM
LOL you counted? Seriously? Wow Mr. Lehman! Thanks for reading me! ;D I guess this makes 108! Since Im a private citizen and Im not one to go tooting my own horn, I dont feel the driving need to broadcast what I do, but just cause you're special I'll make you a deal. You publicly apologize to the Dormont Police Department for your slanderous accusations and may be if you are really nice, I'll then reveal what my contributions are. :) <3s!
Ed M July 09, 2011 at 03:33 AM
Based on Dwyer's past, I don't even understand why Dormont hired him!
MSgt. John DeLallo July 09, 2011 at 01:56 PM
Well, Ed, I'm guessing you are a Dormonter, and I'd ask "did YOU hire him?" Likely not, but the person you voted for in the last election did. I've been carefully watching this fiasco play out. Go Dormont figures Dwyer will spend less than 50% of his time behind a desk. Really? As he has no arrest authority, does that mean he's going to be on the street wasting the taxpayers' monies? This is pretty simple. When an overbearing government exists, you can go third world and stage a coup (the bullet box), or you can get your butt to the polls (the ballot box). Did you vote in the last election? Are you willing to put in a few hours as a poll watcher? Are you active in community politics? Ed, you likely answered YES to these questions. Apathy and complacency will kill Dormont faster than the Plague. Encourage your neighbors to grasp the issues, and most of all, get out and vote.
DormontMOM July 12, 2011 at 02:53 AM
So let me get this right, demote the chief of Police who was a working police officer, then suspend him eliminating a Police officer all together. Hire a replacement that has NO CLEARENCE to be a working officer, (and google him not nice backround check if you ask me), then pay him 5500 a month/ over 60,000 a year. OH WAIT A MINUTE WHAT ABOUT ALL THAT OVERTIME PAY FOR THE POICE FORCE???? Isn't that your poor excuse for his demotion, you have caused even more overtime! You should all be ashamed of the way you have represented this community, you are a disgrace to the boro and I for one cannot wait till we vote you all out of office!
Leah Petrilli July 12, 2011 at 10:44 AM
But ...but..Dwyer can utter these words of wisdom to the officers of the DPD: "Dwyer said he has instructed his officers to keep an eye out for any suspicious activity following a rash of copper thefts in the region" What a bargain! We are getting all of that knowledge and wisdom of the ages for a mere $5550.00 a month! I dont know about you DormontMom but Im thanking my lucky stars we have him to guide the DPD! Of course I could have advised that, as well as told the officers to drink their milk and brush their teeth..for free! :D
MSgt. John DeLallo July 12, 2011 at 12:03 PM
There's an old song from my era called "Yackety-Yack", and it fits the bill perfectly for this occasion. "Bring in the dog, and put out the cat.....'yackety yack'.....don't talk back". Intermin administrative acting police chief. Read that again, tack 5500 bucks on the end of it, and then try to defend it. And for those who think Phil Ross got sacked for abuses in overtime, you've obviously never worked in a police department. I have. The Mayor's budget for the police department was scotched by current council and the fun began. Does anyone in Dormont realize how close to a dictatorship you are? Think of it as 3 wolves and one sheep voting on what to have for dinner.
MSgt. John DeLallo July 12, 2011 at 12:07 PM
Sorry, that would be "interim". Must have had a senior moment and was thinking intermittent.
Kyle July 12, 2011 at 08:04 PM
Thank you WOP for the emphasis on this literally becoming a dictatorship.
Just Mom July 14, 2011 at 11:00 PM
I need clarity on a few issues. I've read Chapter 48 of The Dormont Borough Code and I've found what appears to be several violations (by council) with regard to the Police Department. Please read below and remember the current acting chief is not act 120 certified and has no powers of arrest. Article I - Rules and Regulations: 48-6 Powers / Duties of Chief of Police & Acting Chief od Police; (1) The Chief of Police shall be the keeper of the borough jail and shall have custody of all persons incarcerated therein. (2) (f) Engage in regular patrol of his or her own duty, it beinging the intent of this section that the Chief of Police of Dormont Borough shall be a working chief due to the size of the borough and the expected size of the police department. B. Temporary or Acting Chief (2) Such temporary or Acting Chief shall be charged with the duties of the Chief of Police and shall exercise the complete authority of the Chief of Police under this article. 48-7 Duties of members. It shall be the duty of ALL members of the Police Department to see to the enforcement of all of the ordinances of the borough and all statutes applicable therein and to preserve order and to prevent infractions of the law and to ARREST violators thereof. Take a few minutes and read chapter 48 - (1 to 16) it is very interesting and available on line on the Borough's Web Site. Now if I am correct isn't council violating the Borough Code?
Leah Petrilli July 14, 2011 at 11:03 PM
That is the way I see it JustMom. And that is my issue with this interim.. acting ..whatever label they are hanging on Dwyer. Frankly, there is alot of shady dealings with this council and the boro manager and we get to foot the bill for it all.
time for a change July 15, 2011 at 05:52 AM
Talk about shady dealings how about drop the charges against the boro manager or your fired. Then turn around and sell it to the news agencies like The patch that it was a mutually accepted agreement. If that isn't politcal corruption and abuse of power then I don't know what it is. Two things that should happen to remove any doubt as to certain council members motives. #1 Heather admitted she had a relationship with Gino so she should abstain from all votes pertaining to him.#2 Drew should erase any doubt that he has ax to grind with the police and abstain from any future votes pertaining to the police department. Drew or GO Dormont you know you read this so why don't you respond? Why would you have a ax to grind with the police? Since were now in the business of trying to fire and demote people maybe you should answer this pointed question from when you got the IKON copier contract from Gino. Did you file the proper income paperwork with the state ethics commision? Maybe that needs looked into cause if you did you would have said so long ago!
Leah Petrilli July 15, 2011 at 10:25 AM
Wow. The hits keep coming. Maybe its high time someone files a sworn complaint with the Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission. You can get the form online. Can an entire community do that against their boro council? Since Heather is a Juris Doctor maybe she can chime in and tell us. }:) Wonder what else goes on up there at the Chamber of Secrets..er..the Boro Building?
MSgt. John DeLallo July 15, 2011 at 02:25 PM
Just Mom: I'm beginning to worry about you. First you posted using logic, and now you are suggesting that perhaps the Boro of Dormont Council is acting outside the scope of its authority? And you are citing STATUTE? Holy Crap, you better be careful or der Fuhrer Rizza will have you taken away in chains. He'll likely hunt me down like a dog and throw me in the same gulag as you. How dare I compare him to a dictator? Keep plugging, Just Mom, I see the clouds of November gathering already.
chris July 19, 2011 at 11:45 PM
Since when is it legal the fireman who sits at the police department lobby window and Rob Davis(code enforcement officer) go thru police reports as they were doing when I recently went to purchase a parking permit? Seems like anyone in the boro building can invade the privacy of all who have filed police reports.
Dan Nephin July 20, 2011 at 04:17 AM
A couple of things: 1. Are you sure what you saw? 2. Could it have been code citations that were being gone through? 3. Could they have been going through criminal cases related to code issues? 4. Police would be the ones filing reports. And to a large extent, they are public record. Could be a logical explanation or misinterpretation. I can do some asking. Not promising a story though.


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