Logan, Hollidaysburg hire police chiefs

Retired state trooper replaces Mercer

The Logan Township supervisors on Thursday hired Blair County Chief Deputy Sheriff David Reese as police chief.

Reese replaces Tim Mercer, who retired recently because of a health issue after two years.

“I think he’s going to serve us well,” said Supervisor Ed Frontino. “Move us in the direction we started with Tim Mercer.”

Reese, an area native who retired from the state police after rising in the ranks, like Mercer, emphasized making connections with the community, like Mercer — who frequently spoke of “compassionate policing.”

“There has to be community outreach,” Reese said after his swearing in.

Reaching out builds trust and confidence among citizens, who then are more willing to provide the information officers need, Reese said.

“If you isolate yourself, you can’t effectively do your job,” he said. “It’s truly a partnership.”

Officers must become problem solvers and community leaders, he said.

He developed his policing philosophy as a young trooper in Bedford County, from listening to officials and residents in the two townships where he worked, he said.

In recent times, he has come to believe that social media is an important tool for outreach, he indicated.

Today will be his last day at the county.

“I didn’t want him to go,” said Sheriff Jim Ott, who attended the hiring, along with many of the Logan Township officers whom Reese will be supervising.

Reese will begin work in Logan on Monday, said Township Manager Tim Brown.

Mercer will be there “to help give him the lay of the land,” Brown said.

While Logan officials have made it clear that they are well-satisfied with the department as Mercer had left it, Reese ultimately “has to be his own guy,” Brown said.

Reese was one of 29 applicants for the job who came forward as the result of two searches, the first beginning in mid-December, the second begun after supervisors asked the Police Commission for a wider choice of candidates.

The commission interviewed a total of 12 applicants and recommended four to the supervisors for interviews.

Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 949-7038.

A closer look

Name: David Reese

Age: 51

Family: Wife, Kelly; daughter, Kelsi, 29; son, Erik, 28; son, Kyle, 23, who is with the Army in Afghanistan

Hometown: Native of Lilly

Education: 1984 graduate of Penn Cambria High School

Experience: Served in the Navy eight years, four overseas, in communications intelligence

Served in the state police 1993-2013, on patrol and in criminal investigation, inspection, internal affairs, then as commander of the Rockview and the Philipsburg barracks and as a section commander in the Internal Affairs Department — a difficult job that helped him learn how to identify and solve problems, he said.

Worked as a school resource officer in the Hollidaysburg Area School District, as an administrator in the Hollidaysburg Borough Police Department, as a federal security contractor for the Internal Revenue Service, then for the Blair County Sheriff’s Office.