2009-01-01 / Front Page

Zechman To Head Mercersburg Police

Fort Littleton man appointed to fill chief's position
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz STAFF WRITER

A "delighted" borough council and mayor selected a local, retired Pennsylvania State Police sergeant last Monday to take the helm of the Mercersburg Borough Police Department.

John Zechman, who retired from the state police in April 2007 after logging approximately 39 years with the law enforcement agency, was unanimously hired to replace former police Chief Larry Thomas. Thomas retired in October, and officer George Weber has since stepped up to serve as acting chief until Zechman is sworn in.

Even though there were a total of nine applicants for the position, only three were interviewed by the Mercersburg Borough Council's Personnel Committee. Zechman's resume was a "stand out" among the applicants, the borough council added in its public announcement.

During his stint with the state police, Zechman worked at the McConnellsburg, Bedford and Harrisburg barracks. Under his new duties in Mercersburg, the Fort Littleton resident will be in charge of manning a department comprising two full-time officers and five part-time officers. Among the part-time officers is McConnellsburg Borough Police Chief Gary Long, who along with Sgt. Doug Thomas will be relieved of their duties at 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, December 31, as a result of the local borough council abolishing its two-man police force.

Zechman is slated to get an annual salary of $42,000 but will not receive health insurance benefits.

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