The Sto-Rox area is fortunate to have its two heads of law enforcement passionate about their job and the community. Both were born and bred locally and have high hopes for the community’s potential and future.
McKees Rocks police chief Rick Deliman always wanted to be in law enforcement. As a boy growing up in Ross Township, he always knew what he wanted to do.
“I always wanted to be a police officer,” Deliman said.
He began by pursuing a B.A. in Criminal Justice at Edinboro University in Northwest PA, followed by the Allegheny County Police Academy.
He had never considered becoming the police chief in McKees Rocks or elsewhere until the position opened here.
“I thought I could be successful at the job and keep the department cohesive with my experience in community relationship building,” Deliman said of his two decades of experience. “I think I know what makes this town tick.”
His love and pursuit of law enforcement led to another love of his life, his wife, Lynne, a native of Stowe Township.
Stowe’s police chief, Matt Preininger was born and raised in Findlay Township, but his father hails from Norwood and his mother from Pittock and still has family in the surrounding areas.
After contemplating joining the military, Preininger decided a different route, “I decided I’d go to IUP for criminology.”
Over time, both have seen Sto-Rox get an unfair shake and has personally witnessed many acts of kindness.
“The Rox has a bad reputation due to negative media coverage and although every community has its challenges, there are a lot of really positive things that are happening within McKees Rocks,” he said.
“Drugs are the biggest problem,” Stowe chief admitted. “All of them.”
Preininger added that the Sto-Rox landscape makes it hard to expand and develop land and is another facet of the stagnation.
Despite challenges there are plenty of upsides to the area, the two remarked.
“Good things are happening here and there are people that care about the town.”
“Neighbors look out for neighbors,” Deliman said before he recounted a story close to his heart.
“Last November there was a man walking his dog in the Bottoms at about 9 p.m. and he heard a noise coming from a dumpster and thought it was a dog. It wasn’t possible to open the dumpster alone and he didn’t have his phone on him. So he walked around the corner to knock on the door of a resident to ask for assistance – it’s 9 p.m. in early winter – and the resident opened the door to help him. She called the McKees Rocks PD.”
Once all was said and done, and with the help of two more neighbors whom lent tools, the community saved the animal from the dumpster. The dog, a half chihuahua, half terrier mix named “Lucky”, became a member of Chief Deliman’s family that night.
Deliman says that the McKees Rock PD has a good working relationship with neighboring departments, like Stowe’s, which gives strength in numbers and shared knowledge. For example, he’s known Stowe Township police chief, Preininger, for over a decade.
Preininger is optimistic about the future, “CSX is a good thing for this town, and the Broadway Development Group’s Easter and Santa events help the community come together.”
With stories of neighbors helping neighbors, chiefs that love the areas they serve, and the community coming together, is it a surprise that the two are excited to see the residents come together and celebrate upcoming events like FEASTival and Jingle Bell Rox?