Centre Co. looking to hire detective, will assist local police with cold cases

Local News

Bellefonte, Centre County, Pa- After 23 years, Centre County will once again have a full-time detective on staff.

But what will the detective be used for?

In a previous story, WTAJ detailed how the detective will assist in drug-crimes, like those connected to the opioid epidemic.

But, the investigator will also be looking into cases like that of Jean Tuggy, the 61-year-old from Pine Grove Mills… and Cindy Song, the Penn State student who disappeared in 2001.

Previously, each local police force has chiefly been in charge of following their own cold cases. But, this new detective will look to bring a fresh perspective to the cases, while utilizing resources from the District Attorney’s Office.

“We want to have somebody who’s experienced with a wide breadth of experience, who can bring a fresh set of eyes to the cold cases we have here in Centre County… a county detective who has the ability to do it, and has the resources of our office to assist in those investigations,” said Centre County District Attorney Bernie Cantorna.

Cantorna says the ideal detective will work with local police to conduct investigations for the DA’s office, including cold cases. This, Cantorna says, will give local officers more time fo their day-to-day duties.

“That county detective is an asset to law enforcement to do jobs that they would get tied up with otherwise,” Cantorna said.

The detective will also be a big help to any information the DA’s office will immediately need.

“The county detective is in house, so if you need something the county detective will get to it,” Cantorna added.

He says this position is something that’s been requested to the Centre County Commisioners for the past 12 years. Cantorna is thankful it was added to the 2019 budget. When asked about the potential for offering more detective postitions, Cantorna said at the moment it’s unlikely

“We will only have one. If you were to look at other jurisdictions, they have large detective forces in the district attorney’s office. We have trust and confidence in our local police agencies to do those investigations, and we need that individual to assist, address the opioid epidemic and address those cold cases,” Cantorna said.

The county is looking to fill the position by this summer.

The salary range for the full-time position is listed as $58,656 to $96,241.

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