Westmoreland County’s new chief deputy sheriff should be familiar to many western Pennsylvanians as well as many law enforcement personnel.

John P. Rock, 66, of Crabtree, who retired in 2008 after 25 years with the state police, took office this week after his appointment by Sheriff James Albert.

“We are really excited to have John join us with the Sheriff’s Department. His experience in law enforcement…will keep the sheriff’s department in a professional direction,” Albert said.

Rock enlisted in the State Police in 1983, working as a patrolman at stations in Greensburg, Indiana, and New Castle. He was promoted in 2000 to the rank of sergeant working at stations in Greensburg, Uniontown and Washington. In 2002, he became station commander in Somerset, where he served for four years.

In 2006, he was promoted to lieutenant and assigned to the commercial motor vehicle safety section of the agency’s patrol section in Harrisburg as a commanding officer.

In 2007, Rock returned to western Pennsylvania, serving as commander of B Troop’s patrol platoon in Washington.

He was one of the first accident reconstructors for the state law enforcement agency.

“I was very moved when Jim asked me if I would take the job. But I’ve been retired for 13 years and wanted to discuss it with my wife first, but we thought it was a great opportunity,” Rock said.

Rock said he spent his first week familiarizing himself with the departments of the office and personally introducing himself to deputies and staff.

“I found that I had worked with some of the assistants over the years. There seems to be great staff in place, very professional from everything I’ve seen,” Rock said.

While in retirement, Rock also established defensive driving programs for senior citizens, private businesses, and government entities.

Rock is a life member and former chief of the Crabtree Volunteer Fire Department.

“I’m really looking forward to helping the (sheriff’s) department,” Rock said.

Rock and his wife, Becky, have two adult children, Jennifer and John, and three grandchildren.

Rock succeeds Thomas Abraham of Unity, who was a U.S. Army veteran and served a few months in that role before his departure last year.

The position pays $45,000 per year.

Paul Peirce is a staff writer for Tribune-Review. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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