SALISBURY TOWNSHIP BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
With the imminent retirement of Salisbury Township Chief of Police Allen W. Stiles, a consultant has been hired to assist township officials in choosing Stiles’ successor.
At the May 23 township meeting, Stiles announced his last day as township police chief is July 12.
Stiles, who was eligible to retire June 1, is noting his 25th anniversary as Salisbury police chief, having been appointed in June 1994.
Stiles has been in law enforcement for 46 years. Stiles served as Hellertown police chief August 1985-May 1994. Stiles became a Bethlehem Township patrol officer in January 1973.
“We may have to explore appointing an interim chief until a decision is made to hire a full-time chief,” Salisbury Township Board of Commissioners President Robert Martucci said when contacted by phone during the June 1 weekend by a reporter for The Press.
The Salisbury Township Board of Commissioners voted unanimously 5-0 at the May 23 meeting to approve the Lafayette College Meyner Center’s proposal for police recruitment services.
Commissioner Rodney Conn moved to bring the motion to a vote, seconded by Board of Commissioners Vice President Debra Brinton.
Cost for the services is to not exceed $6,000, according to the motion approved by commissioners. However, additional costs could include $1,500 for review panel; $500 for advertising; $3,000 for background investigations, bringing the total cost to $11,000.
The commissioners’ vote to approve the proposal took place after a presentation to the board 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.
Woglom previously met with Brinton, Martucci and Salisbury Township Manager Cathy Bonaskiewich.
According to the Lafayette College website, Woglom began at the Meyner Center in 2007.
“I’m a government consultant, a facilitator,” Woglom said at the May 23 township meeting. “The most common project I do is recruitment.”
He said he has completed work for 100 municipalities in southeast Pennsylvania. In April, he assisted Lower Nazareth Township in its hiring of a township manager.
Woglom said he doesn’t teach at Lafayette College. He described himself as “a practioner.”
Explained Woglom in his May 23 presentation, “My job is to help the board decide what they want in a chief and find the best match available in the marketplace.”
Said township Commissioner Joanne Ackerman prior to the commissioners’ vote to hire Woglom, “I think it’s a great idea.”
Said Bonaskiewich, “I think there’s a wealth of expertise to draw upon from the Meyner Center. That’s why I recommend it.”
Woglom assisted Pen Argyl borough, Northampton County; Chambersburg borough, Franklin County and Upper Dubliin Township, Montgomery County in selecting police chiefs.
“I’ve done large departments and small departments,” Woglom said.
“The thing a municipality needs to look for is a leader,” Woglom added.
Asked Conn, “What’s the timeframe?”
“As brief as the search permits,” Woglom answered.
Woglom said a logistics meeting, defining protocol, with township officials is the first step.
After that first meeting, Woglom said, “It will take three to four months before the new chief is walking through the door.”
“This is going to be a very desirable spot for someone to become a police chief,” Woglom added of the impending Salisbury Township police chief vacancy.
“Chief, do you have any questions?” Martucci asked.
Replied Stiles, “I’ve had a number of opportunities to attend events at the Meyner Center. The Meyner Center does a great job.”
The township board of commissioners next meets 7 p.m. June 13.