EBENSBURG – Cambria County’s new chief detective brings her 11 years of local law enforcement experience to the post she was sworn into on Monday morning by President Judge Norman Krumenacker III.
Kristy Freoni began her career in law enforcement with the former Dale Police Department and continued her work as a patrol officer in Jackson Township, Ebensburg Borough, Nanty Glo Borough and Cambria Township.
Freoni, who was born and raised in Jackson Township, is a Central Cambria High School graduate who said she initially decided on a career in law enforcement due to her interest in helping people.
“(Law enforcement) was something that put me in a position to do that,” she said.
Through her experience on patrol, Freoni said she also developed a special interest in helping women who were victims of domestic violence and other types of assaults.
She was also one of the first local police officers to undergo training in forensic interviewing before the county established its child advocacy center, said Cambria County District Attorney Kelly Callihan.
“(Freoni’s) experience and skills will loan themselves very well to the issues we’re facing in the county, especially drugs and child abuse,” Callihan said.
“I’m excited to have her come on board. I think she’ll have an impact.”
Becoming the county’s chief detective is something Freoni said will take her career to the next level, a step in which she will join regular meetings of Cambria County police chiefs, form strong relationships with local law enforcement departments and take on a role with the Cambria County Drug Coalition.
The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office was authorized in January 2018 to operate the county drug task force, which Callihan said expands the force while still allowing county detectives to make arrests and prosecutors in her office to pursue warrants and handle cases involving drug trafficking and other drug-related crimes.
The partnership with the state attorney general’s office also allows for the use of grand jury power, something that investigators could use in light of an increased number of cases in which witnesses refuse to cooperate with police.
Similar partnerships are in place in Blair and Centre counties.
“(Callihan’s office) already has a strong department,” Freoni said.
“I plan to continue working to put a dent in the drug issue in our county. It’s increasing dramatically.”