For the first time in 25 years, the Jim Thorpe Police Department will have a sergeant. Officer Michael Bokeko was appointed to the position by the Jim Thorpe Borough Council at its regularly scheduled meeting Thursday.

Sgt. Bokeko was chosen for the position after obtaining the highest score on a qualifications test, which was taken by the Jim Thorpe Police Department's five top officers.

At the meeting, Mayor Michael Sofranko explained to the board that a sergeant was needed on the police force to help establish a more efficient chain of command in the department. Sergeant is the department's highest rank after police chief.

In addition to his regular duties, Bokeko will now be able to act as a substitute police chief when Chief Joseph Schatz needs to take time off. Bokeko will receive a police chief's rate of pay when acting as chief for 80 consecutive hours, or over a period of two weeks.

Bokeko was sworn in to his new position following the borough council meeting. His mother, Nancy, and girlfriend, Stephanie Barabas, pinned the chevrons denoting his new position onto his uniform. Chief Schatz explained that this ceremony is a long-standing tradition.

Sofranko praised the new sergeant as an energetic and caring officer, adding that the move will help the Jim Thorpe Police Department to better serve the community. Bokeko has been serving in Jim Thorpe since he started his career eight years ago.