After months of planning, the construction of a new police building and Upper Macungie's new police department went into service at 6 on New Years Eve.
"It's a great night to start new things," said the Rev. Mark F. Plaushin, executive director of public safety, security and health at DeSales University and chaplain of the Lehigh County Police Chiefs Association, who came to lead a prayer for the new department.
With township supervisor Sam Ashmar and a few others looking on, Plaushin led a moment of silence for those who have fallen in service, read a Bible passage and led the prayer. With that, Plaushin and another chaplain shook the hands of the police officers who would be the first for the department to serve the community.
Upper Macungie Police Chief Edgardo A. Colón, who led the development of the department, turned to his officers and said, "You guys have a safe shift."
Outside, as the first of the patrol cars rolled out of the police station parking lot, the few onlookers, including firefighters and their families, took photos to capture the moment.
"It's a good time for Upper Macungie Township," said Ashmar afterward. "I'm very, very proud of the [police] leadership and all the work that they've done."
Said Colón, "I'm just glad this day is here. We're ready to get to work."
Check back with Patch for video of the department's start.