In March of 1956, in response to a petition circulated by the merchants, the Franklin Township Supervisors appointed George Rugh as a part-time police officer at a starting salary of $25.00 per month. He was required to use his own vehicle on patrol and respond to calls for service. He did not receive any additional compensation.
In July 1958, Officer Rugh became a full-time officer earning a salary of $300.00 per month. Additionally, two part-time officers were hired to assist him. The police department office was located in Officer Rugh’s residence. All police calls were made to his residence. If he was on patrol, a member of his family would call a pre-arranged business or residence in Murrysville. People at these locations would turn on an outside light so Officer Rugh could see that there was a police call waiting.
In 1959, Franklin Township purchased its first police vehicle and hired part-time officers. In 1960, the police office was moved from Officer Rugh’s home to a trailer located on Township property.
In March 1961, John Bricklemeyer was hired and appointed Chief of Police. He resigned the first part of 1963, at which time Officer Rugh became acting Chief of Police. In August of 1963, he was appointed Chief of Police after attending the Pennsylvania State Police Academy. The police department consisted of three full-time officers, including the Chief of Police. In 1964, there were two police vehicles for night patrol. There was not enough police coverage for the entire day, so during certain hours, officers had to be on “stand by” and respond to emergency calls when they were received.
The Police Department grew slowly through the 1960’s. In October of 1967, Edward D. Roberts was hired and appointed acting Chief of Police in August of 1972. In February of 1973, he was appointed Chief of Police. The police department consisted of nine full-time officers, and in most cases, had two officers on a shift.
In January 1976, Franklin Township became Franklin Borough. In June 1976, it became known as Murrysville Borough. Finally, in January 1978, Murrysville Borough became known as the Municipality of Murrysville.
In June 1992, Sergeant Craig Thompson was promoted to Chief of Police. The police department consisted of three sergeants and thirteen patrol officers. Also, the police department had four full-time and two part-time dispatchers, who operated the police dispatch desk.
In January of 2000, Chief Thompson retired. The police force consisted of one Lieutenant, three Sergeants, fourteen patrol officers and four full-time and two part-time dispatchers. Lieutenant Liermann took command of the police department until a new Chief of Police could be appointed.
In June of 2000, Chief Thomas M. Fitzgerald was selected as the new Chief of Police. Chief Fitzgerald began obtaining grants for new equipment and training. In the fall of 2000, a grant was awarded to the Municipality of Murrysville for the institution of the Community-Oriented Policing Program. Crime Prevention programs were instituted to assist in preventing crime. This also helped citizens to take control of issues and problems in their own community. In turn, this has helped the police combat crime.
In May of 2002, for the first time in the history of the Murrysville Police Department, a detective position was created. Officer John Verner was promoted to fill the position. In August 2002, Chief Fitzgerald left the department to become the U.S. Marshal of Western Pennsylvania. Once again, Lieutenant Liermann took command of the police department. On January 6, 2003, Thomas P. Seefeld was appointed as the new Chief of Police.
Within his first six months, Chief Seefeld created a Traffic Safety Division, a Canine Unit and has supported the Crime Prevention officers in their efforts towards instituting crime prevention initiatives. Chief Seefeld has made several changes within the police department that will have a positive impact on police services in the community. The biggest change in the department has been the Accreditation status that it has received and continues to maintain. Chief Seefeld continues to seek funding for new technology and equipment and provides on going training opportunities to the police officers. Currently, the police department consists of 21 full-time police officers and three full-time Administrative Assistants.