A former Baltimore City Police officer who was recently sworn in as Wrightsville new police chief says he prefers small town policing over patrolling the streets of the big city.

"Here you get to have a relationship with the people," said Chief Ronny Hege. "You get to personally know who you are serving."

Surrounded by friends in law enforcement field, Hege, 43, of Dover was sworn in as the borough's new police chief by Mayor Neal Habecker during a council meeting Monday night.

Hege, who most recently served with the West York Police Department as a part-time officer for nine months, retired from the Baltimore City Police Department in 2011 after 21 years of service.

"Ronny Hege, who is a veteran cop of one of the most violent cities to police, has proved himself to be a solid professional that is not only ready but also deserving of this responsibility," West York Police Chief Justin Seibel said in an email.

New role: Hege commands the department's three other police officers, one of whom is a part-time officer.

Over the past two weeks, Hege became acclimated to his new department and the new town that he serves, Habecker said.

His first day on the job was Tuesday. The council approved a measure to hire Hege during a recessed meeting on Sept. 17.

Hege said its different being a chief instead of being a patrol officer but added he's ready for the challenge.


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While he has no immediate plans to alter law enforcement in Wrightsville, Hege said he'll sit back and see how the department operates to see where improvements can be made.

Relieved: Hege replaces former police chief Wayne Pearson, who was relieved of his duties in August.

The council voted 5-0 to relieve the one-time chief during its Aug. 20 meeting.

Pearson was hired as chief in December 2006, when Wrightsville reestablished its police service.

The borough council voted to disband the department in 2003 and instead enter into a police-service contract with Hellam Township Police. In 2006 the council ended the contract with Hellam Township and restarted the borough force.

An acting chief was not named after Pearson was relieved of command. Rather, Habecker said he worked with the borough's officers to ensure law enforcement efforts ran smoothly.

Habecker said Hege is a good fit for the department.

"I feel that we are very fortunate that Ronny has come to us to take over this position," Habecker said.

- Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.