Upper Macungie’s future police chief said Berks-Lehigh Regional Police officers are welcome to apply for openings in the township’s upcoming department but they are not guaranteed jobs.
Township Supervisors Thursday gave Edgardo A. Colon the go-ahead to start interviewing candidates for the new police department, which is currently slated to start Jan. 1 or sooner.
Colon said he hopes to make great progress on hiring in the next 90 days well in advance of the Dec. 31 deadline for disbanding the Berks-Lehigh Regional force. That way, the current officers won’t be left hanging at the last minute wondering if they have jobs.
Supervisor Sam Ashmar estimated that the new department will need at least 22 officers. Upper Macungie already hired the chief, two officers and an office manager.
The Berks-Lehigh Regional force has 28 officers. When Upper Macungie voted to leave the Berks-Lehigh force at the end of this year, the police commission voted to disband the Berks-Lehigh department. Maxatawny Township in Berks County took steps to form its own department, which was expected to hire about six officers and a police chief, according to the Reading Eagle.
But Colon, who will be retiring in August as station commander at the state police Troop M Fogelsville barracks, made it clear Thursday that he was not going to be rushed on hiring staff or guarantee anyone jobs.
“We’re going to go through a process that will be open to obviously the officers in the Berks-Lehigh Regional Police Department as well as other applicants,” Colon said. “That’s the fairest process to go through.”
An audience member asked: “It’s not a sure thing that these guys are going to get hired?”
Colon said, “That is correct.”
Upper Macungie’s new 12,000-foot police station is nearing completion.