Hollidaysburg tabs acting chief to replace Ketner

HOLLIDAYSBURG – The Hollidaysburg Borough Council unanimously named David Gehret as the borough’s new police chief at its meeting Thursday night.

Gehret, formerly the assistant chief, had been serving in the role on an interim basis after former chief Jeffrey Ketner was placed on paid leave. Ketner later retired from the position.

Gehret said the Hollidaysburg Police Department is full of talented officers and staff, and he is “proud” of the work they do.

“I’m just looking forward to leading this fine department,” he said.

Ketner’s retirement was accepted by the borough in a special meeting on July 22 after he was placed on paid leave by the borough on July 12.

The borough parted ways with Ketner because he could not see eye-to-eye with other officials on how to run the department, attorneys for both Ketner and the borough confirmed.

What exactly those differences were have yet to be made public. Ketner has, to date, not commented on the situation, and borough officials have remained equally tight-lipped.

Borough Mayor John Stultz Jr., who oversees the police department, said at the July 22 meeting that the borough would explore both an internal hire or bringing in an outside officer to replace Ketner.

Stultz said Gehret was offered the job full-time because of his years of experience with the Hollidaysburg police.

“He knows the operations of the department quite well,” Stultz said. “It will be very easy for him to step in.”

Council also approved Gehret’s new salary, which will see a bump to $65,000 on Aug. 17, when a new pay cycle begins. Other benefits receieved as part of the promotion were not discussed Thursday night.

Ketner, at the time of his retirement, was making $68,231, according to borough records.

Council members also met in executive session after Thursday’s meeting to discuss other police contract negotiations but did not return to chambers to take official action.

Mirror Staff Writer Paige Minemyer is at 946-7535.