Niles hires two patrolmen

NILES – Two new patrolmen were sworn in this week as Niles police began a push to replenish its ranks.

Officers James Reppy and Frank Messuri put the city’s police staff at 33, a number that still is not sufficient, according to Chief Robert Hinton.

“We’re losing another officer in a couple weeks,” Hinton said Wednesday. “So, we’re looking at needing another batch of new officers. We’re currently doing backgrounds on a few others.”

According to Hinton, the department is at full staff with 35 officers, which will require three more hirings.

“We got hit by five retirements at the end of 2012,” Hinton said. “There’s going to be more hirings down the road, hopefully if the money is there.”

The new patrolmen, sworn in by Mayor Ralph Infante, have previous experience in law enforcement. Reppy, a native of Niles, worked with the Trumbull County Sheriff’s Office and Vienna police, while Messuri, of Girard, was an officer in Springfield Township.

The patrolmen were hired at the first rate of pay according to the labor agreement, which is $28,027 annually.

“We did an extensive background on a list of candidates, and these two stood out,” Hinton said of the two men.

Also at the meeting, Detective Daniel Adkins was promoted to lieutenant. Adkins has been with the department since 1999. He began as a patrolman and also served as a K9 officer, as well as detective.

The first step in the pay scale for lieutenant is $60,118 per year.