Tuesday, December 18, 2018

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East Greenville Rehires Retired Officer
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer
2018-12-06

            In August, Randy Morris retired from the Borough of East Greenville Police Department after 34 years of work in law enforcement. In a letter to Borough Council, the officer wrote that "it's time to see what retirement feels like."

            Morris could be returning to the borough very soon. On Monday, the members voted unanimously to rehire him in a part-time capacity and as the officer in charge based on his experience, according to Solicitor Mike Peters.

            According to council President Angie Fegely, Morris would regain a spot in the police department as soon as he signs an offer letter. According to Peters, Morris would also need to provide the proper certifications and prove to Mayor Keith Gerhart and Manager Jim Fry his training is up to date.

            The agreement was sent to Morris on Tuesday for his signature, according to Gerhart. In an email message, the mayor explained that the former officer needs to update some of his certifications which he will try to get completed within the week. "As soon as all certifications are updated, I will swear him in, and he will begin working," Gerhart wrote.

            The offer limits Morris - who would not be eligible to participate in the borough's insurance program or pension plan - to work 32 hours a week at an hourly rate of $26. Following a six-month probationary period, he would be eligible for three vacation days and three sick days in 2019. Morris would also be paid time-and-a-half to work holidays, according the solicitor.

            Council voted to make the offer after discussing the issue during an executive session prior to the meeting, according to the solicitor. Morris would lead the department, which currently includes one full-time officer Joshua Halteman.

            According to Gerhart, municipal officials began talking to Morris about coming back to the department in late October. The mayor wrote that the former officer's knowledge of the department, as well as the fact that his previous police work included supervisory experience made Morris an ideal candidate.

            Initially, the borough's solicitor drew up a sample work agreement, which was presented to Morris in mid-November, according to Gerhart. The mayor wrote that the candidate had certain expectations that had nothing to do with salary or benefits, and that once municipal officials figured out what was acceptable they revised the previous sample agreement. "There really were no negotiations," Gerhart wrote.

            As soon as Morris is sworn in, he will do administrative work and ride along with Halteman at random times. Once his uniforms arrive, Morris will be on regular patrol duty, according to Gerhart.

            Chief Andrew Skelton, who has not worked since Sept. 4, faces a termination hearing. Skelton initially placed himself on unpaid leave. In November, council changed his status to suspended without pay pending termination. On Nov. 19, they approved a measure to hire a Bensalem Township attorney - Melissa Fiala, with Rudolph Clarke LLC – to officiate the police chief's termination hearing.

            Municipal officials hired Morris, who has 29 years of experience with the Bristol Borough Police Department, in July of 2017. He worked 13 months in East Greenville before council voted to accept a resignation letter. The members rejected a similar letter two weeks earlier.

            On July 16, council also voted to move forward with a plan to hire Morris' replacement.

            During that public meeting, Gerhart said he would direct Chief Andrew Skelton to begin the search for Morris' replacement. The members decided to advertise for one full-time officer and two part-time officers, then likely choose one option or the other, according to President Angie Fegely.


 

 

 

 

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