Hearn named acting police chief


Borough Police Capt. John Hearn was named acting police chief by Mayor Joseph Bianchi at last Thursday’s Borough Council meeting.

Hearn, who has been a member of the Police Department since August 1987, has come up through the ranks and was most recently promoted to captain in 2009.

There is one other officer with a comparable rank: Capt. Scott Hedenberg was promoted to that rank in December 2011. The department has no deputy chiefs.

Borough Administrator Stephen Lo Iacono said that Hearn will continue as acting chief indefinitely until the mayor nominates him for a permanent appointment with consent of the council.

Lo Iacono said that normally there would be a Civil Service test for chief but in this case, because there are fewer than three people eligible for the chief’s position, there would appear to be no need to call for the test. Councilman Richard Hughes said the issue is still being researched.

Lo Iacono said that until such time as a permanent chief is appointed, Hearn will continue to receive his captain’s salary. His annual base pay is $148,000 but with longevity and holiday pay factored in, his salary rises to $174,658, according to Lo Iacono.

Police Chief Louis Ghione retired July 1 after some 30 years with the department. He is owed $200,000 in accumulated time and the council voted Thursday to pay him $100,000 this year and the balance next year, reportedly at the chief’s request. Ghione’s salary was $180,629.

In other public safety-related developments, the council established new pay scales for the borough’s crossing guards as follows:

Retroactive to Jan. 1, 2012, per diem substitute guards earn $12.13 per hour while permanent guards’ hourly pay ranges from $13.75 for their first year to $16.05 to sixth year.

Retroactive to Jan. 1, 2013, seventh-year hourly pay is set at $16.45; effective Sept. 1, 2015, eighth-year hourly pay is fixed at $16.85; and as of Jan. 1, 2016, ninth-year hourly pay will be $17.25.

“Any time served as a perdiem employee shall not be counted as time served as a permanent position with regard to the [aforementioned] pay scale.”

Sick leave: Permanent guards shall be entitled to four hours per month of sick leave on their first day of employment; after completing one year of service, a guard will get 40 hours of sick leave per year; guards may accumulate up to 240 hours of sick leave time. Per-diems are not eligible for sick leave.

Vacation: Permanent guards can take four hours per month of vacation as of their first day of work; guards with up to 10 years of service get 40 hours vacation; guards with 10 to 20 years get 52 hours vacation; guards with more than 20 years get 72 hours vacation. Vacation time cannot be carried over year to year.

Guards shall be paid for a maximum of three snow days per school year for full-day school closures.

Guards working borough holidays shall be paid time and a half.

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