Sheriff Hires College Grad With No Experience As Second-In-Command

Travis Day, 23, was one of six applicants considered for the captain's position, the sheriff said.

Westmoreland County, PA – A recent college graduate with no previous law enforcement experience has been hired as the second-in-command at the Westmoreland County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO), the sheriff recently announced.

Travis Day, 23, had submitted an application in the hopes of being hired as a deputy, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported.

Instead, he walked onto the job at the rank of captain at the department, which employs 54 full-time, and 19 part-time deputies and support staff members.

“His resume far surpassed the others,” Sheriff Jonathan Held told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Five other applicants were also considered.

Day was most recently employed as a manager at a retail clothing store at the Westmoreland Mall, where he was hired in December of 2017.

Despite his complete lack of hands-on experience, Day boasts an impressive academic history, including bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice and political science, and a master’s degree in criminal investigation.

Sheriff Held said that Day will be required to complete a 19-week training program before he will be authorized to perform all of the duties of the WCSO.

Day will also be in line for acting sheriff in the event Sheriff Held, who was charged with a felony offense on Feb. 26, resigns or is removed from office.

Sheriff Held was charged after the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office accused him of having deputies seek and collect contributions for his 2015 re-election campaign while they were on duty, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

He appeared in court on Feb. 26, and was arraigned on misdemeanor theft of services, misdemeanor theft by unlawful taking, and felony conflict of interest. His next court appearance was scheduled for Mar. 15.

The WCSO’s hiring practices were already under investigation by county commissioners, after two applicants and a current deputy alleged in February that Chief Deputy Patricia Fritz refused to give them positions in the department because they were black, the Pittsburg Tribune-Review reported.

Deputy Fritz took an indefinite leave from the department after the investigation was launched.

Day’s first day of work was on Monday. He will serve in an administrative capacity until his training program is complete, the sheriff said.

Comments (34)
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rds40
rds40

“His resume far surpassed the others,” Sheriff Jonathan Held told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review??? He sounds like he would have made an outstanding candidate as a Deputy. Second in Command? Does he think he will gain any respect? Sounds like he's set up for failure.

The first time they drop the hammer on him, he will sour on the career which is unfortunate.

LEO0301
LEO0301

This sheriff is looking at ways to get even. This poor guy has no idea what he is in store for. The troops will never rally behind anyone, black or white, who was put into a position that normally takes years to get. This department is about to implode.

RunCop
RunCop

PC sheriff....PC hire..........' But my books say this is the way to handle the situation, not your years of law enforcement experience'

304 Adam
304 Adam

Sheriff should be placed on paid leave pending outcome of case.
Is this dept under civil service? If so, new hire could not be given rank of Captain. Only the ranks of under sheriff and chief deputy are appointed positions.
This sounds like a pissing contest. The real losers are the citizens of the county.
If the dept is not civil service, the whole situation is one big FUBAR.

cayman2020
cayman2020

it sounds like someone is setting this kid up to fail. and that's a shame. They are doing a disservice to the public and the kid. I have no idea what the rules are in PA. but in some states the Governor would appoint an interim Sheriff until the next election.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@satmantoo
Dont get your feelings hurt about Affirmative Action. Check the stats yourself. It overwhelmingly benefits white women in management positions, despite whatever anecdotal story you have to tell.

Facts, not feelings.

7come11
7come11

Sounds like that sheriff is a real piece of......work...

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@Jsmoe cry you a river about what? This guy got hired into a position, I'm cheering him on.

davidebrwn
davidebrwn

does anyone else see a lawsuit coming on?

Marybeth1959
Marybeth1959

Recipe for disaster

grant99710
grant99710

As a retired LEO Commander I wish this young man good luck in his career however this “hire” is nothing but “sticking it “to the county commissioners and the District Attorney Office. Education does not outweigh actual experience no matter how impressive! Basic Law Enforcement Training is the foundation to build off of not the complete “turn key” building that allows you to come in and run a department. Frankly, this hire should be another “nail” in the coffin for this Sheriff as it is a total disregard for the safety of his community and personnel. He is expecting to be “relieved” of his duty and creating an issue within the department on leadership and guidance with this hire. This young man is a victim in this situation and will be removed from that position. If he is smart he will resign the position, accept a position of deputy and not become a “pawn” in this sheriffs irresponsible action. He will gather much more respect from his fellow officers and the public that will build towards his future in law enforcement.

No. 26-34
solomonrich
solomonrich

Apart from his degree in criminal justice and his masters in criminal investigation; the young man will be trained before he starts his job, whats so difficult for that to understand. You have a President who has no experience nor qualification in politics yet still he is the President of the USA. I guess its too hard to fathom a young black man in such a position, especially being a Police.

b1rd
b1rd

I'm sure it was Hi_estComnDenomn. He seemed all worried about it for a while then started promoting it. Didn't mean to keep you in such suspense. You know, like finding a corner in a round room and all.

b1rd
b1rd

Yea probably a spiteful hire. But if this is the best guy they had for second in command it really isn't saying much for the rest of the guys.

NinaG
NinaG

Wait. He has all these “degrees” yet he’s working at a retail store?

Creative_Measures
Creative_Measures

This young man has achieved much for his age! Note the numerous degrees at the age of 23! Not one, but three!! Appears to be a very DISCIPLINED young man!!! The commander in chief of the USA is highly inexperienced! How many degrees have you obtained at your age?? I’ll wait. We all start somewhere!!! Have a seat.

b1rd
b1rd

Funny.
While this guy is smart, he appears to have no real experience. While you say Trump is inexperienced, he has enacted many changes for the better. More times than not I would prefer actual experience over book knowledge when dealing with people. How much are you worth?

Creative_Measures
Creative_Measures

My worth well surpasses yours I’m sure, I’ve expressed my opinion. Facts still remain. I prefer not to over indulge in reference to your political stand point. I’m confidently certain my worth far surpasses your expectation! You’ll be utterly surprised!! The man will attend a 19 week training course! Not only is your form of articulation simple, so is your thought process. Carry on!

Creative_Measures
Creative_Measures

I’ve expressed my perspective! Quite honestly, there’s no need to sit behind this screen and entertain your foolery. Ha ! Enjoy the remainder of your day partner.