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Lower Merion Police Suspending 2, Promoting 8

Retirements have depleted department leadership, the superintendent said.

Two Lower Merion officers will be suspended for three days apiece and eight others will be promoted to sergeant or lieutenant, pending the approval of the township Board of Commissioners, Police Superintendent Michael J. McGrath told the board Wednesday night.

Neither McGrath nor Brian Gordon, chairman of the board's police committee, identified the officers being disciplined or explained why they were being disciplined; the circumstances had been discussed in closed session.

Explaining the need for leadership promotions, McGrath told the board that four sergeants and two lieutenants have retired in 2011 and 2012, and eight other members of command staff are eligible to retire this year. He added that a recent study showed Lower Merion has a smaller proportion of command staff to total department size than the average of 16 other comparable departments studied.

McGrath is requesting that six officers be promoted to sergeant and two sergeants to lieutenant.

The police committee gave preliminary approval to the suspensions and promotions Wednesday night. A final vote by the full board is set for May 16.

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