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New police chief defies odds by surviving serious car crash

It was an emotional night for everyone in attendance at Michael Turner's swearing-in ceremony.

PITTSTON, Pa. — It was a night that almost didn't happen for Michael Turner, the newest Chief of Wyoming Area Regional Police.

"Coming from where I was in December till today, a lot of emotions playback," Chief Turner said.

Before the regional police force was formed, Turner served as the chief for West Pittston. 

In December 2022, he was involved in a severe car crash that almost took his life. 

He had several broken bones and almost lost the ability to walk.

"The first question I asked the surgeon out of surgery is am I going back to work, and he reassured I would be. Did he expect me to go back in three and a half months, no," Chief Turner said.

Turner returned to his new role as Lieutenant of Wyoming Area Regional Police ahead of schedule to serve under now-former Chief D. F. Pace.

"It became immediately apparent to me his selflessness, his humility, and his willingness to serve the community, so when it came time to selecting my management team, it was a no-brainer as to who would be the second in command, and I'm very happy that he's going to be taking the reins of this newly formed regional police department," Pace said.

Now as chief, Turner plans to continue his department's promises of service, honor, and integrity.

"My number one concern is to hold people accountable for if they are committing crimes in our regional coverage area and two attack whoever is thinking about dealing or selling narcotics we are going to get them," Chief Turner said.

Along with swearing in Chief Turner, Wyoming Area Regional Police swore in Christopher Mercavitch as a new lieutenant, two new department sergeants, and promoted one officer to detective. 

They also plan to add to the newly established police force by bringing in seven new officers once they graduate from Lackawanna Colleges Police Academy.

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