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Pennsburg Temporarily Extends Full-time Hours to Part-time Officer
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            Pennsburg Borough Council voted Tuesday night to appoint a temporarily full-time police officer. The members unanimously approved a motion to extend full-time hours to Matthew Roberts over the next three months.

            Council President Diane Stevens disclosed the name of the officer in a text message following the meeting. Police Chief Joe Adam confirmed his identity in an email message Wednesday morning. Municipal officials did not mention Roberts while approving the motion.

            Council did not address the Feb. 9 officer-involved shooting during the public portion of the meeting that caused the death of a 27-year-old borough man. In a text message, Stevens confirmed that the borough's police department shut down following the incident and reopened Monday.

            The council president declined to answer a question regarding the incident's impact on the municipality's police department. She referred all questions to Adam.

            "Please contact the chief for answers," Stevens wrote in a text message received Tuesday night. "I hope you can understand why I'm asking this of you."

            In April of 2020, council voted to hire Roberts, a Quakertown resident, as a part-time officer. The officer graduated from the Delaware County Community College Police Academy with a 94 percent overall grade and his ACT 120 Certification, according to information provided by Adam.

            Member Wayne Stevens suggested that the members work together to improve the long-term parking issues in the 500 block of Penn Street. He suggested finding a way to make the situation better.  "We're not going to make everyone happy," Stevens said.

            According to the member, the immediate issue has been solved. He said that residents from a 10-apartment community on Penn Street who parked their vehicles on the street during the last two snowstorms, left them in their designated parking spots during the last storm.

"The residents panicked," Stevens said.

            The member said he met with Ron Robinson, the president of the community's homeowners association. Stephens said Robinson was extremely contrite and stated that it wouldn't happen again.

            According to Wayne Stevens, people have driveway space they are not using. He said it's an issue throughout the borough. Municipal officials will continue to watch the situation, according to Diane Stevens.

            Two weeks earlier, the members discussed the possibility of making a significant portion of Penn Street a no parking zone. Jason Kulp, the borough's roads and maintenance supervisor, told council that plowing the 500 block of the street during the recent snowstorm was difficult because several vehicles were parked on the street.

            During the Feb. 9 public meeting, Kulp suggested banning all parking on Penn Street from the 6th Street to Route 663, or possibly designate it as a snow emergency route. He said either would make plowing easier and help members of the Pennsburg Fire Company get to calls faster.

            In other news, the members took no action on converting a portion of Long Alley behind the Dunkin' Donuts because it was never ordained, according to Administrative Manager Lisa Hiltz. Council voted unanimously to advertise that action.

            Council hopes to implement directional limits and prevent tractor trailers from driving along that portion of the alley. All of the proximate residents favor the adjustment, according to council member Wayne Stevens.

            An ordinance would address speeding in the alley, according to Adam. Two weeks ago, the council member said it would also prevent traffic leaving the restaurant, located at 400 Main Street, from making a left turn out of the alley on to Route 663.

            According to Wayne Stevens, concerns about speeding in the alley and the separation of asphalt on private property sparked the proposal. He told the members that a female resident of the 400 block of Penn Street "jumped for joy" at the idea of making the alley one way.

            Council held executive sessions on Feb. 11 and Feb. 12 to discuss personnel items, according to the council president. The members also met in a private session Tuesday to discuss issues of ongoing litigation and personnel issues, according to the council president. She said no decisions were made afterward.






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