Twelve former housing police officers were appointed to the Buffalo Police Department on Monday.
The former Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority officers, who were laid off in June 2005 because of budget cuts, plus two police report technicians, are now the city's newest police officers.
These 14 new police officers are part of Mayor Byron W. Brown's plan to add 100 officers to the city's force by lobbying state officials for $10.5 million.
Buffalo Police Commissioner H. McCarthy Gipson made the new appointments Monday afternoon during a promotion ceremony in Police Headquarters.
"For the first time since 2001, we're appointing police officers who actually took a test to do this job," Gipson told the audience of about 250 fellow police officers, family members and friends. "They bring a wide array of skills to this job."
The promotions also included Gipson's first major Cabinet shuffle since he was named police commissioner in February 2006.
Lt. Brian S. Strobele was appointed chief of the South Police District, succeeding Lt. James P. Shea, who is stepping down so he can be promoted to captain -- a contingent permanent position that is the department's second-highest civil service rank.
Shea said he is also departing his role as chief so that he can be with his wife, who is having surgery.
Strobele, 43, is a 22-year veteran of the force and a lifelong Buffalo resident who lives in the Lovejoy section.
"I'm hoping to focus on quality-of-life crimes and narcotics in my district," Strobele said.
Capt. Fred D. Young, one of a handful of African-American command officers, was appointed acting chief of the Northeast Police District.
Gipson said Young is acting as a temporary fill-in for Chief Arturo Salas, who was injured on duty.
Under the city's plan, former Housing Authority officers were the first to be hired as Buffalo police officers if they passed the police exam, which was offered in January.
About 25 Housing Authority officers had been laid off. Twenty-four of them took that test, and 12 of those test-takers accepted a position with the city's force, police officials said.
Gipson said those officers are taking a three-week refresher course and are scheduled to be on street patrol by January.
In addition to the appointments of Strobele and Shea, the promotions included: Officer George W. Morlock, who was promoted to lieutenant, and four officers promoted to detective: Deborah Buyers, Marlin L. Hall, Christopher F. Sterlace and Patricia N. Wrest.
The two former report technicians who took the police test and became officers are Sherry A. Ebert and Amy J. Frankel.
In addition to Zak, the 11 new officers from the Housing Authority force are: Bart A. Adams, Brian J. Britzzalaro, Ann W. Devaney, Robert E. Eloff, Thomas P. Feeney, Dennis R. Gilbert, Daniel B. Kurdziel, Craig J. Leone, Richard P. Manley, Adam E. Oshei and Judith M. Walker.