‘New’ crimes force Solebury to hire, train more police

Officials mum on nature of crimes, citing ‘ongoing investigations’

By:Carl Reader
   SOLEBURY — The Board of Supervisors have taken several steps to combat crime in the township.
   The supervisors Aug. 6 moved one officer from part-time status to full-time status, authorized the hiring of four more part-time officers and sent two officers to seminars for more training.
   The moves were necessary not because a crime wave has hit the tranquil country vistas of Solebury, but because of the new nature of some crimes and the resignation of some officers. The board could not reveal what some of the crimes being committed in the township were, simply because of the nature of the police investigations going on. There was an executive session last week to discuss with Police Chief Richard Mangan the types of needs of the township in police matters.
   "We had an executive session because there are some types of crime in Solebury Township and ongoing investigations in Solebury Township that would not have been appropriate to discuss in public," board Chairman William Tinsman said. "Leading up to these various requests, we did that in executive session,"
   The requests by Chief Mangan were to move Officer Marc Mansour from part-time status to full time, add the four new part-time positions and send officers John Kenderdine and Jonathan Koretzky to various seminars on crime. The board authorized Officer Kenderdine to attend the East Coast Gangs Seminar in Egg Harbor Township Oct. 15-18 at a cost of $537.38, and it authorized Officer Koretzky to attend the Narcotic Investigation Training Conference in Ocean City, Md., from Sept. 16-19 at a cost of $525.
   Mr. Tinsman read a letter from Chief Mangan detailing increased demands in the Police Department as the reason he was requesting Officer Mansour be moved from part time to full time along with the resignation of one part-time officer. Officer Mansour’s promotion was made retroactive one day back from the Aug. 6 meeting at the request of Secretary-Treasurer Gretchen Rice to accommodate her payroll concerns.
   "Moving him to full-time would help provide more adequate police coverage," Mr. Tinsman read from Chief Mangan’s letter.
   Mr. Tinsman said he was in full support of the moves in the Police Department to provide more police coverage. The board concurred and approved all the requests.
   "I think we need to acknowledge as our community grows so do the requests for service from our Police Department," Mr. Tinsman said.
   He said there were needs to monitor speeders, motorcycle noise and computer crime in the township. He also indicated there were other oddities outside the law that needed attention. He could not elaborate on them due to ongoing investigations.
   "The kinds of things that are taking place in Solebury Township challenge its definition, I think," Mr. Tinsman said. "Suffice it to say, we need to pay particular attention to our police coverage for the safety and welfare of our residents,"
   Supervisor J. Peter Grover pointed out the resignation of one part-time police officer put a greater burden on the force.
   "We’re really just almost playing catch-up," Mr. Grover said. "This is very necessary. I certainly support it as well."
   In another police matter, the board authorized the adoption of DROP, or the Deferred Retirement Option Program, for the Solebury Township police. DROP is a program that allows police officers to have more control over when their retirement will take place and how it will be financed. It was negotiated by police liaison Tom Caracio with the Police Department.
   "It is a way for officers to participate in a plan to make a decision when they want to retire without penalty to their retirement," Solicitor Steven Harris said.
   Under DROP, an officer would provide a date four years in advance when he wished to retire. He could contribute to a fund for his retirement, and he would be required to retire on the date he set.
   Mr. Grover, who assisted Mr. Caracio in negotiating the agreement, said DROP would benefit both the local government and the police officers financially.
   "It’s good for the township," Mr. Grover said. "We’re ahead; they’re ahead."