A long-time Uniontown police officer said he is seeking a post as magisterial district judge to fight for justice for all victims with a focus on helping innocent child victims.
Donald “Butch” Gmitter of Wharton Township announced his candidacy for the magisterial district judge post held by Wendy Dennis. Dennis recently announced her retirement from the position she held for about 30 years.
Gmitter thanked Dennis for her commitment and service to the community.
He is currently the chief of police for Uniontown Area School District. He retired as detective from the Uniontown City Police Department in 2016, where he served for 15 years. He also served eight years in the Marine Corps in both active and inactive reserves. Gmitter has been a volunteer firefighter since 2005, currently serving with the Farmington Volunteer Fire Department.
“I’ve worn many hats throughout my life, but they’ve all held one purpose — to serve and protect the community I love,” he said.
Running for magisterial district judge was part of his career plan since he started working with the police department, he said.
During his time with the police department, he also worked at the Fayette County Booking Center, familiarizing himself with district judge work, including administrative work, arraignments and requesting warrants and emergency protection-from-abuse orders.
He was also trained in forensic interviews of child victims and served on a team that investigated serious crimes against child victims and presented those cases to the district attorney.
“It was always a good day when you caught the bad guy,” he said. “When we caught someone who hurt an innocent child, those are the days you never forget.”
Gmitter is married to Wendy Langley-Gmitter. They have two sons, 6-year-old Kiptyn and 8-year-old Brayden.
“If elected, in addition to the law, I would apply what I have learned and experienced as a United States Marine, parent, detective, volunteer firefighter and currently the chief of police and truancy officer to every case, every person, ever time,” he said.