Engage the community in hiring the next Swissvale Borough police chief

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We, the residents of Swissvale, demand transparency in the hiring of the next Swissvale Borough police chief and the opportunity to engage in the process of selecting this important public servant.


On November 1, 2017, Chief Geppert of the Swissvale Police submitted his resignation. That same night, without engaging the community, the Swissvale borough council voted to begin advertising for his replacement immediately, utilizing a job description that was written in 2005. Private requests to borough council members for more information about the hiring process have gone unanswered and the deadline for candidate applications is a mere 10 days away. While we recognize the importance of filling the position quickly, we also embrace the reality that Interim Chief Watson is more than capable of managing the department long enough to allow for a transparent process that ensures the best person for the job is selected.


Much has changed in our community and in the world at-large since 2005, and the requirements and characteristics of a candidate for police chief should evolve as well. Furthermore, the overall process for how a new police chief is hired should be outlined publicly. Since the dated description has already been circulated and the community was not consulted, we demand the opportunity to meet and ask questions of top candidates for the job.


Several communities nationwide have held open forums like the one we are requesting.

Examples:

https://www.allentownpa.gov/Home/News-Details/ID/85/Police-Chief-Candidates-to-Meet-the-Public


http://www.pennlive.com/articles/13414933/middletown_presents_first_of_t.amp


http://newtownpanow.com/2017/09/27/newtown-council-to-interview-police-chief-candidates/


Swissvale government officials have made great strides in the last 2 years in becoming more transparent and communicative with community members. This important job vacancy is an opportunity for council members to step up and show that they are really invested in the input of the people that elected them.


In summary: Residents of Swissvale demand a seat at the table and the opportunity to engage in the process of selecting our next police chief.

Petition to be delivered to Swissvale Borough Council.

 

 



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