A Baden Councilman is now publicly confirming a report by the Beaver Countian this week that the municipality staged a private phone vote to hire part-time police — just days after a public meeting where a majority of Council had voted to table the issue for a month.

Councilman David Trzcianka, a retired Beaver County 911 Dispatcher, said that following the Beaver Countian’s report yesterday, Baden Solicitor James Amato sent out an email through the Borough Secretary advising town officials not to provide comment about the matter.

“He said if the Beaver Countian calls for comment, the comment is you have no comment,” said Trzcianka in an interview with the Beaver Countian. Trzcianka agreed to speak about his involvement in the controversial vote, but made clear he would not discuss roles others played in the matter or any privileged conversations Council has had during executive sessions.

“I did not participate in the phone vote, I refused to,” said Trzcianka. “They sent an email out saying there was going to be a phone vote. I replied to the email saying wait a minute, we said we would talk about this at the February meeting. I voiced my opinion via email that we needed to revamp our hiring policies before we went any further with this.”

Trzcianka said he later received an email from the Borough Solicitor notifying Council their phone vote was not legal; Trzcianka was notified that some members had already changed their vote from positions at the public meeting just days before.

Given the controversies and the opinion of their Solicitor, Trzcianka believes Council will simply view as nullified a botched attempt at conducting the private phone vote and will now address the hiring of part-time police at their public meeting in February as originally planned.

“I was reading some of the comments on the Beaver Countian, people need to understand that for me this has nothing to do with who is being hired,” said Trzcianka. “I think our hiring process is flawed. For the little town of Baden to employ 17 part-time officers in one year is ridiculous. Every part-time officer we hire we buy uniforms for and bulletproof vests — we’re paying out thousands of dollars and some of the officers get hired and the next thing I know they’re not on the schedule.”

Councilman Trzcianka told the Beaver Countian he voted against hiring the part-time officers during the public meeting because he wanted to brainstorm with other members of Council how the hiring process could be improved to find candidates who will remain with the department longer.

“I know that part-time officers in Beaver County drift from department to department to department, but I just think we are missing something in our interview process,” said Trzcianka. “What are we missing when we interview people that could warn us off of people who will not stay on. I have a lot of ideas on what is wrong, which is what I wanted to discuss with Council before we moved forward with hiring.”

The Beaver Countian currently has an open records request pending with Baden Borough for an audio recording of its January 17th public meeting and copies of emails pertaining to the subsequent telephone vote. The Borough has invoked a 30-day delay in fulfilling that request, asserting it needs time to conduct a legal review to determine what is required to be released.

John Paul
John Paul is the founder of the Beaver Countian. He reports full-time for the site, specializing in investigative journalism with an emphasis on public corruption.

27 COMMENTS

  1. Crooked politicians with crooked hiring policies is how we end up with crooked police officers in Beaver County.

     
  2. When the solicitor tells council not to comment, it can only mean something is not quite right. Kudos to Mr. Trzcianka for his honesty. And, a 17-officer turnover in a year? He’s right; the hiring process needs examined.

     
  3. Ohhhh Davey get that arm back there so you can pat yourself on the back as usual. How bout you disband the department get Harmony, Baden, Conway and Economy together for one. Can’t imagine that one little department has 17 part time officers. Imagine how many there are between those 4. Council is to blame for hiring that many. More tax dollars at waste.

     
  4. Time for a regional police force in that whole area. Period.
    Time for a regional police force on the west side of the Ohio river also. Period.
    Way too much tax money being spent on something that does not work. Period.

     
  5. Part Time….mmmph you do get what you pay for. Get into the 21st Century, Regionalize, Professionalize, your local Police Departments. Vote for qualified community leaders, follow the rules, be professional.

     
  6. To view as nullified a botched attempt??? WTF is that? That’s like robbing a bank and then taking the money back to the bank the next day and telling them you have reconsidered your position. Nope, Nope! Doesn’t work that way. The law has already been broken.

     
  7. They leave for full-time jobs. Nobody wants to stay a part-time police officer their whole career. 17 part-time officers is crazy. Try revamping your hiring process to include a few full-time officers.

     
  8. Spend money on training then you wont have taxpayers paying for lawsuits against rogue power hungry crooked cops that shouldn’t be aloud to be cops. Part-time dont stick around??? Perhaps look into why they leave. Job satisfaction is the number one key motivator. Theres a reason they leave???

     
  9. The obvious solution mentioned above is regional policing and consolidation period. From the 30 plus police departments and fire departments scattered throughout this county. Everyone wants to be the big chief and no Indians. That is why we pay outrageous taxes and most of the forces are ill prepared to be well trained honest LEO’s. Cronyism and political chicanery always prevails. Who you know is way more important than what you know. While your at it, consolidate the county schools like the rest of the real world does to eliminate more political hackers and nepotistic policies. We have 15 school districts bleeding us dry and over taxing the elderly. 15 districts means lots of top heavy administration and duplication of functions. Merge into 4 school districts: North, East, West & South Beaver County Schools. I bet I can save you over 100 million in about 10 minutes. Myopic people in this county resist change that is inevitable until the costs are prohibitive. Center/Monaca proved that the mergers can work with “GOOD” leadership and community involvement instead of the same old same old. It’s the 21st century for Christ’s sake!

     
    • That will never happen equal. If they go to regional, the local council will lose their power control and influence, hence harder to get personal favors granted on the down-low.

       
  10. Officers drift from “department, to department, to department!”
    Sort of like free agency huh! Pretty much like the National Felon League and all the integrity and team commitment that they possess! God forbid you should eliminate 17 part timers and maybe hire 4 full timers and maybe even give them some medical benefits so they dont have to drift from department to department just to afford their car payment! Officers deserve more than McDonalds wage with no benefits and 24 hours a week! We put all the responsibilities one can imagine on these guys and then treat them like a clock key turning security guard who watches a warehouse all night and expect them not to quickly move to another dept. When opportunity knocks?!? So yes Sir please do “revamp” your hiring policies, and also perhaps brush up on your moral and ethical cliff notes while you’re at it!

     
  11. Seriously, who gives a shit about this? A bunch of unpaid councilmen hire a couple $10 an hour police. This isn’t the defense budget , it’s fiefdom/kingdom politics in a piss poor borough that can barely stay afloat. You have a couple little kings that run these boroughs and school boards and the rest of the people sit at home and bitch about the Pirates and wonder why the Stillers let James Harrison go. And 5 miles down the road , the next borough does the same routine, as does the one next to that and the one next to that one. How many citizens would have attended that meeting , anyhow? Three? Five? ZERO? More like zero.
    And go ahead and press for regionalization, even if “regionalization” consists of grouping 3 tiny communities into one group. It will be like the Germans marching into Czechoslovakia and Austria back in the ’30’s. Local control gone! Subjugation! Poor response time! We’ve seen it. Vanport/Beaver…. Fallston/New Brighton….. East Berlin, errrrrrrrrr East Rochester/Rochester Borough. Unless, it somehow improves the high school football team. THEN, it’s a great idea!!!! Right Center and Monaca?

     
  12. Sorry Uncle wah wah I always enjoy your posts but, I must disagree on this one. You have to start somewhere. The people of Baden should know the truth, they are paying taxes to support the circus. Your right this happens all the time in most all of these towns, just this time they got caught and good people stood up to do the right thing and that is certainly not common…….Now let see if anyone in law enforcement steps up do something….I think we all know the answer to this LOL Where is our DA?? You all know he is reading this…………………………….

     
    • Exactly!!!! Unions have NO BUSINESS in government sector jobs. Period.
      They are paid by TAX PAYERS. Not privately owned businesses. That especially goes for school teachers. Talk about a job that should be paid on merit, not tenure.

       
  13. Keep paying your taxes so they can continue to hire part time officers. While you’re at it look at how much is spent on the fire department. Baden is looking at spending hundreds of thousands on an aerial truck. A new one is around $800,000. It’s getting out of hand. The councilman is also in the fire department so it’ll be bought.

     
    • Well, if you had an atmosphere where there would a pool of people interested and capable of taking these positions , THEN that would be a good option. But you see the election results after every primary and general vote and probably half+ of the local positions are one unopposed candidate and a fair number have no candidate running. This is the Balkanization of Western PA, struggling small communities and districts that are basically run by the two or three people interested and then capable of doing it. You see it in the schools, the local government, volunteer fire, social clubs, etc., etc.
      Get rid of the whole council and it might be two years before you have ANY council. Who is going to do it?

       

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