Chief Richard “Biff” Baer, retired, of Cochranton, won his last fight and joined his mother, Magdalena Schnitzius, on May 22, 2013. He was 83.
He is survived by wife of 60 years, June; children, Susan Cherbonneau (Jerry), Pamela (Wayne) Calder, Richard (Cindi) Baer, Cristine (John) Courter and Carole (Regis) Helch; brother, Bill; nine grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews; French Creek Slick; and many friends.
He organized the Pine Township Police Department, which became Tri-Area Police Department, the first combined police department in the state of Pennsylvania, and retired as chief of police of the now Northern Regional Police Department. Rich was the president of North Hills Police Association, the Allegheny County Chiefs of Police Association, the Western Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association, the State of Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association, and the FBI National Academy Associates. He was a graduate of the Pennsylvania State Police Academy, and the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va.
He was a life member of the Knights of Columbus, Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 91, and held offices in the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion. He was the boxing commissioner under the Thornburgh administration. Among his many legislative achievements, “Chief” was instrumental in passing the Police Mandatory Training Bill, and the building of the Police Academy in North Park, which he considered “one of our biggest battles won.” Rich and June have made their home in Cochranton for the past 20 years.
Friends will be received at Simons Funeral Home, 7720 Perry Highway, Pittsburgh (simonsfuneralhome.com). Visitation is today from 7 to 9 p.m. and Friday from 1 to 8 p.m.
The funeral will commence at 8:30 a.m. at Simons Funeral Home, followed by a 10 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial in St. Alphonsus Church, 201 Church Road, Wexford.
The interment will be private.
If desired, In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Richard R. Baer Scholarship fund of the FBI National Academy Associates. Address to: FBINAAWPA, Bert Lott, Secretary/Treasurer, Northern Regional Police Department, 230 Pearce Mill Road, Wexford, Pa. 15090.