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Eastern Regional Mon Valley Police Department names first chief

Police chief named for Eastern Regional Mon Valley Police Department
Police chief named for Eastern Regional Mon Valley Police Department 02:22

NORTH BRADDOCK, Pa. (KDKA) — The Eastern Regional Mon Valley Police Department has its first chief. 

North Braddock Borough Council voted to form a regional police department with Rankin and East Pittsburgh last summer. After an extensive search, the new department named Derrick Turner as police chief.

He previously served as the Mobile Airport Authority Police Department's chief in Alabama and knows he is creating a force from the ground up.

"It's a special opportunity, a unique opportunity to start a police department from scratch. Being able to actually lead that department is very, very special. I am excited to get started, to get the work done," he said on Wednesday during his introduction. 

The chief is already working on policy for the police force and preparing to post positions for police clerks and sergeants, jobs he hopes to fill by March 1.

Residents are happy to see a new face and a focus on keeping their boroughs safe.

"We're ready for community policing," said Mary Carol Kennedy, East Pittsburgh Borough Council president. "It's been a long time for East Pittsburgh and we're all very excited."

However, some people weren't happy with the council's communication during the process.

"Transparency and communication are key," Rankin resident Pearl Huey said. "If we want people to support this new process, and they do, my community can't wait for a new police department, you have to give people information and allow them to participate."

Turner says he has a plan and it starts with being a familiar face.

"My number one priority is the human engagement," he said. "As I tell folks, we cannot do it alone. This is collaboration ... when we talk about human engagement, we are going to be out, we are going to be about. And I want people to know me. I want people to know me as Derrick, not just the police chief."

Turner says he hopes the new regional police force will launch on April 1.

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