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East Greenville Hires New Officer, Promotes Another
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            East Greenville Borough Council added a new officer to its police department and promoted one of its current officers. On Monday, council voted unanimously to hire a third part-time officer and promote Joshua Halteman to sergeant.

            The new officer, Michael Caselli, retired in 2010 after 20 years with the New York Police Department. He worked as a patrol officer in the city for 15 years and guarded Ground Zero for a couple of weeks in the initial months following the attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

            "Hiring him was a no brainer," Mayor Keith Gerhart said after the meeting. "He's seen it all."

            According to the mayor, Chief Randy Morris recommended hiring Caselli, and the police commission met with the candidate. Gerhart said the new officer will work 20 hours a week at an hourly wage of $21 an hour, according to the mayor. Caselli has no interest in becoming a full-time officer, Gerhart said.

            "He just wants to work as a police officer," the mayor said. "It's part of him."

            Lon Brinckman II abstained from the vote to hire Caselli. After the meeting, Brinckman explained his decision by saying he did not have sufficient time to review the officer's application, and that he didn't feel comfortable relying on the word of other council members.

            The council member clarified his comments later, adding that he and four others were given a recommendation to hire Caselli less than one hour prior during an executive session.

            "I trust Chief Morris' judgment," Brinckman wrote in a text message. "While I have no interest in micromanaging the police department, I will not 'rubber stamp' an approval either. Checks and balances exist for a reason."

            Caselli – who lives in Perkasie and previously worked as a park police officer in Suffolk County on Long Island, N.Y. – described law enforcement as his passion. The borough's new officer currently works as a security officer in the Pennridge School District, according to Gerhart.

            "I've always loved being a police officer," Caselli said after being sworn in by the mayor.

            The new officer could start working next week, according to Morris. Gerhart said Caselli's training would likely include becoming familiar with the department's computer system and learning the borough's geography.

            The new hire will allow the Borough of East Greenville Police Department to increase its weekly man hours from 140 to 160. It will also allow the municipal department to increase the number of hours it covers in the borough. However, the mayor could not provide a specific breakdown.

            The addition of a fifth officer should also help enhance the state police coverage in the borough, according to Gerhart. He said troopers in Skippack will receive a copy of the borough police department schedule so they know when they might need to respond in the municipality.

            Halteman, who joined the department in August of 2017 as a part-timer and was promoted to full time two months later, accepted an increase in rank. Gerhart lauded his performance as the borough's only full-time officer after former Chief Andrew Skelton placed himself on unpaid leave in September of 2018.

            "Josh did an exemplary job," the mayor said during the meeting. "He had the opportunity to leave when the previous chief walked off the job, but he stayed here and kept everyone safe."

            Gerhart also swore in Jon and Tracy Daywalt as the borough's new animal control officers. The couple, based in Pottstown, will be paid $2,500 a year to handle any incidents involving domesticated animals in the borough.

            Their service in the borough commenced Nov. 1. Municipal officials will pay them $416.37 to cover the final two months of the year, according to Manager Jim Fry.

            Jon Daywalt, the state constable in Pottstown since 2004, serves as the animal control officer in 22 municipalities, including Pennsburg, Douglass, New Hanover and Upper Frederick townships.

            The municipal police department responded to 141 incidents in October, according to information provided by Morris and read aloud by the mayor. The calls included 23 incidents of traffic, 22 for public service, 11 civil incidents, five assists, four domestics, three animal incidents, two thefts, one alarm and 63 incidents described as "other".





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