Chester names acting police lieutenant

CHESTER – City Patrolman Dante DiJirolanio has been named acting police lieutenant pending the outcome of the recent lieutenant’s civil service test.

Police Chief Ken Thorn, who is going out of town next week, asked City Council on Monday to ratify his decision to appoint DiJirolanio to the second-in-command position. Council approved the request unanimously.

“I need someone to be in charge of the department while I’m gone,” Thorn said. “Dante’s been doing a lot of extra work for me. He’s been a real asset.”

The lieutenant’s position became vacant over the summer with the retirement of longtime police Lt. James Bryan. The Chester Civil Service Commission recently administered a test to fill the vacancy. The only Chester officers eligible to take the test were DiJirolanio, who has been with the department for five years, and Pete Bowen.

The position will be given to the highest scorer following interviews, Thorn said.

Monday’s appointment is the latest in a series of police personnel decisions by council.

In October, council hired Hancock County Sheriff’s Reserve Deputy Clinton Schon of Chester to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of officer Becky Haught. In November, council hired Brent Bergman of East Rochester, Ohio, to fill the vacancy left by the firing of officer Eric Maruca.

Dismissed Oct. 21 for a “lack of confidence in his performance as a city police officer,” Maruca turned himself in a week later on a felony warrant charging him with one count of distributing obscene matter to a minor. The case, stemming from an investigation that began soon after Maruca joined the Chester department, is pending in Hancock County Magistrate Court.

Council had hired Maruca in July to fill a vacancy left by the resignation of Patrolman Markas Dunlevy just prior to entering the West Virginia State Police Academy in Dunbar.

Thorn said he hopes to have his new officers enter the academy in January. Both men passed their firearms training on Monday, he said.