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Punxsutawney appoints new police chief after seven months

matt conrad.jpg

PUNXSUTAWNEY - Punxsutawney Borough Council held a special meeting Friday afternoon to discuss and ultimately vote on Officer Matt Conrad for position of chief of police.

After a vote of 4-1, Conrad was hired.

Council President Brian Smith said Punxsutawney has been in turmoil for some time over the position and that it was time for council and the citizens to come together to resolve the issue.

"There are always two sides to every decision and vote that we as council persons have to make," Smith said. "But we need to vote for what is in the best interest of the borough at the time of the vote."

A Punxsutawney native, Conrad is a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserve and veteran of Operation IraqiFreedom.

Punxsutawney has been without a chief since February, when former Chief James Borza unexpectedly resigned.

To underscore the firm commitment of the council to support Conrad and foster his success, Conrad and the borough have committed an immediate $10,000 for training, funded by the borough's insurance.

Conrad filed a lawsuit against the borough in May, for not being hired as chief previously. It's not known if Friday's decision was influenced by that.

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