Salisbury Press

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Chief to retire

Wednesday, May 15, 2019 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Local News

Although it’s not official, Salisbury Township Chief Of Police Allen W. Stiles expects to retire this year.

The Salisbury Township Board of Commissioners is already weighing its options, including possibly hiring a consultant to advise in the choosing of Stiles’ successor.

During the workshop following the May 9 meeting, township commissioners discussed a proposal from the Robert B. and Helen S. Meyner Center for the Study of State and Local Government at Lafayette College concerning police chief recruitment.

Commissioners took no action. The five commissioners took copies of the Meyner Center proposal with them for review.

After the meeting, when asked by a reporter for The Press as to when he planned to retire, Stiles said, “I will be retiring sometime this summer.”

Stiles is eligible to retire June 1.

Stiles is approaching his 25th anniversary as Salisbury police chief. He was appointed police chief in Salisbury in June 1994, after resigning in May 1994 from the Hellertown Police Department where he had been chief of police for about nine years after being appointed chief in August 1985.

Stiles has been in law enforcement for 46 years. He was hired as a Bethlehem Township patrol officer in January 1973. Stiles received a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice administration from Alvernia University in May 1978.

Stiles is an Army veteran, having served one year in Vietnam. He has three children and eight grandchildren.

Township commissioners were contacted by David Woglom, associate director for public service, The Robert B. and Helen S. Meyner Center for the Study of State and Local Government, Lafayette College.

According to a Lafayette College website, “since coming to the Meyner Center in 2007, Woglom has completed work for more than 80 municipalities and other governmental entities.” In April, Woglom assisted Lower Nazareth Township in hiring a township manager.

“We haven’t made any decision,” township board of commissioners President Robert Martucci Jr. said during the workshop.

“Cathy thought it was a good idea,” Martucci said, referring to Salisbury Township Manager Cathy Bonaskiewich.

Bonaskiewich was not at the May 9 township meeting, which was run by Salisbury Township Assistant Township Manager-Code Enforcement Director Sandy Nicolo in her absence.

Woglom met with Martucci and township board of commissioners Vice President Debra Brinton at the township municipal building.

“Anyone from the [Salisbury police] department can apply [for the township police chief] post,” Brinton noted.

“He [Woglom] has other police chiefs, a panel, who do the interviews,” Martucci said during the workshop. Martucci said Woglom is willing to make a presentation at a commissioners’ meeting.

“I’ve done that,” Stiles said during the workshop, referring to serving on a peer review panel for the selection of a police chief.

“I thought that made sense to me,” Brinton said. “I think it would be worthwhile.”

“So, you’re replacing me?” Stiles quipped.

“You can’t be replaced,” Brinton said to Stiles, adding, “You brought this police department to a great place.”

During his report to commissioners, Stiles said the township police department received a $10,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency as part of the department’s ongoing accreditation process to review the department’s policies and procedures, with regard to legal defensibility and constitutionality.

The policies will be reviewed by the department staff and an as yet-to-be-named attorney, Stiles told a reporter for The Press after the meeting.

Stiles said another grant was received for an Active Attack Integrated Response Course, from the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training through Texas State University. An estimated 40 attended the class at the Lehigh Valley Hospital Network, 2024 Lehigh St., Allentown, location.

Stiles said 43 pounds were collected at South Mall for the April 27 National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

After the meeting, Salisbury Township Consulting Engineer David J. Tettemer, of Keystone Consulting Engineers, Inc., told a reporter for The Press that work at a house building site along Bobalew Trail, off Church Road, south of East Emmaus Avenue on a slope of South Mountain, was referred to the Lehigh County Conservation District.

“I did go out and look at the site,” Tettemer said. “It appears there is some minor variation. Unfortunately, the township doesn’t have regulations regarding delineating wetlands. We’re going to refer it to the Lehigh County Conservation District.”

At the April 25 township meeting, three Bobalew Trail residents aired their concerns about excavation work at the lot.

Prior to the May 9 meeting, commissioners met in executive session for about 15 minutes to discuss a personnel matter.

Following the executive session, commissioners voted 5-0 to accept the resignation of Kyle Rehatchek from corporal, effective April 24. Rehatchek will continue as a Salisbury Township police patrolman.

Stiles said Rehatchek made the request “for personal reasons.” Commissioner Joanne Ackerman made the motion, seconded by Commissioner Rodney Conn, to bring the motion to a vote.

In other business at the May 9 meeting, commissioners voted 5-0 to:

- Authorize the renewal of the Franko Farm Park house lease. Conn made the motion, seconded by Brinton, to bring the motion to a vote. “The Franko lease agreement will now be renewed annually,” Nicolo said.

- Approve Payment No. 9 of $20,160 to Kobalt Construction for Lindberg Park Phase 3 contracted work. Commissioner James Seagreaves made the motion, seconded by Conn, to bring the motion to a vote.

During the meeting’s courtesy of the floor, Patricia Heckman complained about stormwater runoff problems in the vicinity of East Susquehanna Street and Lehigh Avenue.

Heckman also expressed concern about cars parked near her house. “From my kitchen window, I can see eight or 12 cars in front of my house,” Heckman said.

Martucci asked Nicolo about the matter.

“I’ve had that homeowner up to the magistrate for a couple of times. I thought it had stopped. We’ll take a look at it again,” Nicolo said.

“They do demolition derbies. And that’s where they work on their cars,” Seagreaves said.

During the commissioners’ discussion portion, Martucci said he was contacted by Dennis Gredja about Salisbury Youth Association being able to use Lindberg Park athletic fields. “Lindberg needs to be used by everyone,” Brinton said.

Martucci and Salisbury Township Director of Public Works John Andreas said new signs will be placed at the Franko and Devonshire drop-off centers and the sites will be looked at concerning checking residents’ identifications and inspecting materials.

The township commissioners’ next scheduled meeting is 7 p.m. May 23 in the township municipal building, 2900 S. Pike Ave.