Arthur swearing-in

Nadeana Arthur helps her husband Brian put on his robe after being sworn in as a district judge. Arthur took over the district court in Greenville Monday morning.

Brian Arthur will be sporting a black robe today instead of his familiar police uniform as he begins his new career as district judge in the Greenville area.

The former Hempfield Township police chief was sworn in Monday morning and spent the rest of the day getting settled into his new office at 14 N. Race St., Greenville.

“It was humbling,” Arthur, 43, of Hempfield, said of the ceremony attended by his family, friends and former co-workers.

Arthur will now be on the other side of the bench after having spent 25 years in law enforcement, serving the last 12 as chief.

The Hermitage native went to work for the South Pymatuning police department at the age of 18, never imagining he’d someday become a judge.

“I just wanted to be the best I could be,” Arthur said.

He went on to work for the former West Middlesex police department, where he looked up to his former chief, Jim Stonebraker, whom Arthur called “very kind and compassionate.”

He also modeled himself after Ed Young, who was Hempfield’s chief when Arthur joined the force in 1986. Young showed him how to be understanding with everyone, wisdom Arthur hopes he was able to impart when he was chief.

Learning from those mentors helped Arthur deal with different incidents over the years, some more difficult than others.

Suicides are tough to handle as are domestic disputes where children are present, because the cop “always looks like the bad guy” when a parent is taken away in handcuffs, he said.

Other incidents that stand out are the Howard Stanley Urquhart homicide in 2008, bank robberies, fatal train car crashes and a cat police rescued from a storm drain.

In the past few years, Arthur has seen an increase in retail thefts in relation to the poor economy, and hopes it doesn’t get worse. He urges his successor to get involved with the community, especially the younger generation, to help prevent crime.

“Try to be a part of the community where you work,” he said.

While Arthur looks forward to serving his community in a new way, he said he’ll miss the camaraderie that law enforcement officers share.

“It truly is a brotherhood,” he said.

Sgt. David Morgan is acting chief while township supervisors seek a permanent replacement.

The judicial district covers Greenville, Jamestown, Clark and Greene, West Salem, South Pymatuning, Pymatuning, Hempfield and Sugar Grove townships.

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