We need to hire a professional chief of police not some councilwoman's friend as chief and then rebuild the Coatesville Police Force using the Water Company funds if necessary.
"Officials say Operation Silent Night is a cooperative effort aimed at curbing violent crime in the city. It was initiated after a string of violent crime, including four homicides in less than a week in early July, stretched the undermanned police department.
Hogan said at the time that Silent Night was intended to fill the gap left by a police force that had been affected by a batch of early retirements that left the department without adequate long-term leadership.
'The short-term goal of Operation Silent Night was to stem the surge of violent crime in Coatesville,” Hogan said. “Through carefully targeted operations and teamwork among law enforcement, we succeeded. But we need to maintain the pressure on the criminals, keeping the law-abiding citizens of Coatesville safe.”
Also see:"Dominic P. Bellizzie, an ex-Philadelphia Police captain who now serves as police chief in Buck’s County’s Solebury Township, gained accolades when he headed Coatesville’s department from 2002 to 2006.
He left the post because he said he got tired of hearing rumors that his job was on the line during a particularly tumultuous period of city government. 'Solebury Township’s gain is Chester County’s loss,' Carroll said at the time.
In a phone interview yesterday, Bellizzie said he was saddened to hear of Coatesville’s recurring problems. He recalled starting the job with a force of 30. 'I was asked what I needed,' he said, adding that he immediately requested more officers. 'You need at least 34 or 35,' he said.
Filling in with part-time officers, a plan that City Council initiated last month, sounds like 'a nice idea, but it’s very unreliable,' Bellizzie said. He pointed out that not only do part-timers lack an investment in the department, but they also typically work elsewhere, sometimes making them unavailable when needed.
Bellizzie said that a part-time officer might be involved in a case, which then gets interrupted due to that person’s limited hours. 'Suddenly the officer isn’t there, and then the public gets annoyed,' he said. 'It’s not a good solution.'
He said now that City Council has fired Gary Rawlings, the city manager who advocated reducing the size of the department, perhaps it will rethink the wisdom of reducing the police ranks. 'Certainly public safety should be a priority,' he said. 'If you want to bring in development, you can’t have a homicide on every other corner.'
Council President Ed Simpson said today that the city is moving as quickly as possible to return the department to its pre-retirement staffing level with part-timers.
Asked whether he viewed that as a temporary fix, Simpson said: “What difference does it make? They’re just as qualified as full-time officers; I don’t see an issue.”
Told that some might disagree, Simpson said tersely: 'That’s their opinion.”FROM: