Three new officers sworn in for Northern Regional Police Department |
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New officers (from left) Devon Siegfried, Ismael Lopez and Troy Handza take the oath of office to join the Northern Regional Police Department at the Sept. 19 Richland Township board of supervisors meeting as police Capt. John Sicilia looks on.

Three new Northern Regional Police Department officers took the oath of office at the Richland Township board of supervisors meeting on Sept. 19.

Officers Devon Siegfried, Ismael Lopez and Troy Handza started Aug. 31 with the department, which serves approximately 35,000 people in Pine, Richland, Marshall and Bradford Woods.

Handza, 29, is from Shaler and graduated from California University of Pennsylvania with a degree in criminal justice. He previously worked for the Pittsburgh Police Department. Siegfried, 25, is from Ellwood City and holds a degree in criminology from Slippery Rock University. Lopez, 25, is from Erie and has a degree in marketing and communications from Penn State.

They are still in field training and are learning the area well, Capt. John Sicilia said at the meeting.

In other news

• The development of the former Pittsburgh Cut Flower property is still in the planning stages and some time away from breaking ground on what is proposed to be a housing community for people 55 and older, but things are moving forward. Richland Township manager Dean Bastianini reported at the meeting that the township received a letter from Penn E&R, the environmental consulting firm hired by the owners of the property, indicating their intention to mitigate the disposal of sediment that will remain when two lakes on the property are eliminated. The owners applied to the state Department of Environmental Protection to mix the sediment into existing soil on the property and deposit that into areas of construction as opposed to removing the sediments from the property. The owner has also applied for a planning module from the state for construction of a pump station on the site.

• The board of supervisors approved the purchase of playground equipment, a shelter, restroom facilities and a splash pad to be installed at Richland Township Community Park. The township received a matching grant of $250,000 from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to pay for some of the improvements. Initially the township planned to install the splash pad water features in two phases, but the board voted to do both at the same time in order to save money. Phase one would have cost $199,234 and phase two, if done a year later, would have cost $133,000. The price for doing both at the same time is $268,000. The supervisors agreed that they were serious about making improvements to the park and were in a good position financially to do that.

Karen Price is a Tribune-Review contributor.

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