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Pennsylvania Senate blocks governor's pick to head state police
June 8, 2015 / 9:48 PM / 2 years ago

Pennsylvania Senate blocks governor's pick to head state police

Tom Wolf delivers a speech after being sworn in as the 47th Governor of Pennsylvania during an inauguration at the State Capitol in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania January 20, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Makela

HARRISBURG, Pa. (Reuters) - Republicans in the Pennsylvania state Senate on Monday rejected Democratic Governor Tom Wolf’s nominee to head the state police, criticizing the nominee’s decision to wear the state police uniform even though he had not come up through the ranks.

The Senate voted 26-22 against Marcus Brown, who had been state police commissioner in Maryland, with three moderate Republicans joining all 19 Democrats on the losing side.

Several retired state troopers first raised the issue of Brown’s decision to wear the department’s uniform, although other retired troopers called it bogus. Brown tore down signs near his home attacking him for wearing the uniform.

“There has been no final decision regarding a renomination,” said Wolf spokesman Jeffrey Sheridan. “Colonel Brown will continue to serve as acting commissioner. There is no time limit on how long someone can serve in an acting role.”

Brown could not be reached for comment. A spokeswoman for the state police referred a reporter to the governor’s office.

Brown headed the Maryland State Police from 2011 through January 2015, and during his tenure he worked to increase diversity. He said he had a similar goal for the Pennsylvania State Police, telling reporters after his confirmation hearing last week that he wants the Pennsylvania force to “mirror the community.”

He currently sits on the 21-member board of commissioners of the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, a national police group.

Editing by Scott Malone

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