SWOYERSVILLE — After 27 years of “protect and serve,” Thomas DiMaria will retire from the police force, turning in his badge and service weapon on May 31.
DiMaria served the borough since 1986, beginning as a part-time patrolman and rising through the ranks. He was appointed police chief in 2001.
During DiMaria’s tenure as chief, the police department advanced by hiring more full-time police officers, acquiring Tasers and getting a canine unit trained in patrol, narcotics and tracking. The department also patrolled Luzerne Borough for about nine years until Luzerne implemented its own force in 2010.
“It’s been a pleasure serving Swoyersville for more than 25 years,” DiMaria said.
Kingston Police Chief Keith Keiper said: “He is one of my best friends. He’s a great man, very knowledgeable and did a lot of things when he was president of the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association. He will be missed.”
DiMaria served as president of the county chiefs of police association in 2008 and 2009, and was the financial secretary of the Northeast Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association in 2007. He is the immediate past president of the state chiefs of police association and is the current board chairman.
The Swoyersville Police Department in May 2010 became the second police force in Luzerne County to be accredited by the Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission. The accreditation was awarded after a careful review of police practices, policies and procedures.
DiMaria said he is going to take it easy before his next venture.
However, Keiper expects DiMaria to spend much of his time outdoors. “He’s a good golfer,” Keiper said.
Swoyersville Borough Council has not appointed another police chief.