COLWYN, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- The small borough of Colwyn is home to only about 3,000 people, but it's had as many issues as any big city.
From an exodus of police officers seeking higher wages, to the infamous story of a former borough manager who locked herself in her office and refused to leave, Colwyn has had its share of headlines.
But now, the borough is trying to make its way back from difficult times.
"We had to knuckle down and do things different ways, and we survived," said Maurice Clark, Sr., who is in his second term as mayor.
And for Colwyn, part of turning over a new leaf involved swearing in a new police chief, set to make history.
" (He is the) first African-American chief of police in the history of Colwyn," said Clark of 30-year-old Ishmial Johnston, who was selected to be chief.
"I'm just ecstatic to see what I could do for this borough," said Johnston, who has eight years of policing experience.
He made that statement to Action News on Thursday, before he knew he was scheduled to be part of a swearing-in ceremony that evening.
It was also before Action News found out the new chief had his own incident with the law.
"He didn't hide it from us. He told us from the beginning," said Clark on the situation that caused Johnston to be accused of domestic violence.
A police report from the Norwood Police Department details the 2018 incident accusing Ishmial Johnston of domestic abuse.
It centers around a fight between Johnston and his then-girlfriend.
While she said she was slammed on the ground, Johnston also said in the report that he was assaulted.
He cooperated with the investigation.
After being arrested, court documents show he pled to a lesser charge of harassment and received 90 days probation.
"Myself and (borough) council were satisfied with the results of the court, that's the reason why we hired him. Which I think we did a good thing when we hired him," said Clark.
Johnston, who has been with the department for more than two years, declined to speak about the issue with Action News, preferring instead to move forward, which is exactly what the borough itself is trying to do after coming out of a dire financial situation.
Colwyn just finished restructuring under Act 47, in which the state took over the borough's finances from 2015 until last month.
"The state loaned us money. We pay those bills, so we're up to par with everything," said Clark.
The borough is now looking to get its police department fully staffed.
For the department, fully staffed means employing 16 officers, which has been challenging recently.
"We have lost a total of about eight officers in the last two months that have gone to other police departments because they were paying more," said Clark, who hopes to have pay raises approved for officers.
The police department is now under the leadership of a new chief as they try to move past controversy.
"He said he learned a lot from that," said Clark. "That he would never ever let himself get in that position again."