Interim Scranton Police Chief chosen as former chief settles into new role outside the department

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SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) The Scranton Police Department has a new interim police chief. This comes after former Chief Carl Graziano retired from the department to take a role at Lackawanna College.

Scranton Police Department’s interim Chief Leonard Namiotka is no stranger to the department. Both the interim chief and former chief have served decades in law enforcement in Scranton.

27 years ago he started as a patrol officer, then moved to corporal, patrol sergeant, lieutenant and now is the leader of 147 officers.

“I got the call from the mayor and it was very exciting, you know scary a little bit, like now I’m going to be the leader of our organization,” said Namiotka.

He started his new role on Monday. As interim chief, he hopes to continue the department’s legacy of community involvement.

“Without the public, we’re nothing. They’re the eyes and ears of the city. Alright, if they don’t bring things to our attention we can’t help them effectively,” said Namiotka.

Namiotka happily served under former Chief Carl Graziano for several years.

“Chief Graziano… He just brought us, you know, to the forefront with technology, community policing, the equipment in the cars. It’s just he raised the bar very high, and I hope to keep that bar up there,” Namiotka said.

“We’ve worked together for some time, so I know that we have the same vision… We had the same vision for the city. So I am confident that he will be able to move that forward,” said Graziano.

Graziano retired from the department on Friday. He is also starting his new role at Lackawanna College as the director of public safety on Monday.

“The goal is keep your students, your faculty, your personnel and any visitors to the college safe. That’s not just from crime, that’s also from injury, from fire, from any type of obstacles that would get in the way of someone being safe in this learning environment,” said Graziano.

Graziano is looking forward to his new job by being able to interact with students on campus.

“Hopefully relaying some of my life experiences and professional experiences to some of the students and bringing that collaboration to the professionals that are here at the college.”

Graziano says the past few days have been a learning experience—transitioning from law enforcement to public safety law enforcement.

Chief Namiotka’s first day in the new position involved a homicide investigation in West Scranton.

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