Lauth new police chief

It’s nearly impossible to fluster Aaron Lauth. Lauth, who has been with the Mt. Lebanon Police Department for 17 years, was promoted in May from deputy chief to chief, to fill the spot left vacant by Chief Coleman McDonough’s retirement.

One of Lauth’s more public jobs has been to serve as the department’s spokesperson, a task that puts him in front of residents and media during difficult times, but his demeanor always stays calm and measured no matter the crisis or probing line of questioning.

But at the May meeting when commissioners consented to manager Stephen Feller’s selection of Lauth for the position, he was obviously thrilled, a genuine smile splitting his face. “We know that you have big shoes to fill and we know that you can do it,” said Commission President John Bendel immediately before the vote.

“Aaron Lauth will be an exceptional police chief,” says Feller. “Over the past 17 years, he has demonstrated that he has absolute integrity, is open minded,and possesses solid decision making, problem solving and leadership skills. Aaron and his family live in Mt. Lebanon, and I am confident that he will keep the department strong and communicate effectively with the public.”

Before he left for retirement, McDonough was full of praise for Lauth. “Aaron Lauth is an excellent communicator, and he is known as an innovator in law enforcement circles throughout Western Pennsylvania,” he says. “(Mt. Lebanon has) selected a new chief with the talent, vision and community commitment to successfully lead them into the future.”

Lauth, 39, grew up in Green Tree and is a 1994 graduate of Keystone Oaks High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Mercyhurst University and a master’s of science in strategic leadership from Mountain State University in 2007. His first job was as a seasonal police officer in Ocean City, Maryland.

Prior to Lauth’s appointment to deputy chief in 2014, he was a watch commander in Mt. Lebanon’s patrol unit and a supervisor in the crime prevention unit. He has been a negotiator and negotiations team leader for the South Hills Area Council of Governments Critical Incident Response Team.

Lauth says he’s thrilled to focus on “continuing the proud tradition of the Mt. Lebanon Police Department,” as he praised the officers. He also hopes to create a partnership with the community, especially in keeping communications open. “We’re going to make sure we’re getting the message out,” he says. Social media, the department’s website, the anonymous tip forms are all ways he hopes residents will contribute to the conversation.

Photo by Sally Bucey