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From the Vault: News from the Wednesday, Jan. 25, 1984, edition of the Press & Journal

Posted 1/9/19

Probe of police department will not be a ‘witch hunt’

Borough officials declared last week that the probe of the Middletown Police Department recently authorized by borough council will be a …

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From the Vault: News from the Wednesday, Jan. 25, 1984, edition of the Press & Journal


Probe of police department will not be a ‘witch hunt’

Borough officials declared last week that the probe of the Middletown Police Department recently authorized by borough council will be a “study” into the operations of the department and not an “investigation,” as referred to in earlier statements.

At a news conference early last Thursday afternoon at the borough building, Mayor Robert Reid emphasized the significant difference in terminology.

“This is not an investigation of the police department,” the mayor asserted, “nor is it intended as a witch hunt directed at any member of the department.”

The hastily called conference was purportedly arranged to introduce two representatives of the firm which was selected to conduct the study and to outline the scope of the study and the guidelines that will be followed.

On hand to represent the firm, Bartell and Bartell of Lamont, were Rod Bartell, one of the company’s owners, and Kathy Gordon, a member of the firm’s administrative staff.

In introducing Gordon and Bartell, Borough Manager Paul Bradtmiller reiterated Reid’s remarks concerning the nature of the probe.

“This will be a management study and review of the activities and procedures of the police department,” Bradtmiller noted. “The mayor has been looking for management help with the department for some time, and this study will enable us to assess the department’s operations.”

Bradtmiller said he had been impressed by a study the consulting firm did in Steelton. Subsequently, last October he had proposed that the borough consider hiring Bartell and Bartell or Yarger Associates to do a similar study of Middletown’s police department.

The Yarger firm is currently conducting a comprehensive review of the pay-scale structure for borough employees. The borough manager noted that Reid sought some time ago to secure the assistance of the state Department of Community Affairs to conduct a survey of police operations.

DCA expressed its willingness to help, Bradtmiller noted, but the agency has a backlog of similar requests from other municipalities and has been unable to accommodate the borough.

Bradtmiller also noted that the use of a consulting firm for studies of borough departments is common.

“We have had consulting firms do studies on the water and electric departments,” Bradtmiller remarked, “but we’ve never had a study done of the police department. It’s really overdue.”

Bradtmiller said that there has been a growing concern on council about various areas of departmental operations and that it was felt that a professional and comprehensive review was needed to determine the areas of operation that need revision or improvement.

Bartell explained that the study would attempt to cover the entire range of management to determine how much police service the borough needs and whether the present level of service is adequate or excessive.

Soup kitchen will serve residents of area

In a unified effort, the Red Cross, the Middletown Action Center and area churches have jointly announced the opening of a “soup kitchen,” beginning Monday, Jan. 30.

“We see a need in the Middletown area for such a service,” said Vernon Tritch, of the Middletown Area Chapter, American Red Cross, in preparing the joint release.

The soup kitchen will be open Monday through Friday, 1 to 4:30 p.m., explained Evelyn Gantz, director of the Middletown Action Center, where the soup kitchen will be located. The center is housed in a building on Chapel Road — also known as Ann Street Extended — which is next to the entrance to the Harrisburg International Airport complex and to St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church chapel.

The kitchen will be open to all persons in the Middletown area.

“This would include Middletown, Royalton, and Lower Swatara, Londonderry and Conewago townships,” Tritch said.

“The late afternoon hours are being kept so that any children may come to the kitchen after school. Each day, soup, sandwiches and coffee or milk will be served.”

The soup kitchen is also supported by private donations.

Pipeline is completed, differences still exist

Londonderry Township officials disclosed yesterday that construction crews have finished laying the main water line from Royalton to the last of 12 township homes with contaminated wells.

The last home is the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Costik on River Road. Mrs. Costik said Tuesday morning that service lines had been run into their home, but that the actual changeover to the pipeline supply had not actually been made. She was hopeful that the hookup would be completed by the end of the day.

Meanwhile, new problems have risen which threaten to disturb the otherwise happy conclusion to the complicated project that brought clean water to the affected township homes. Most of those problems revolve around the formal agreement between Royalton and Middletown boroughs covering the terms and conditions under which Middletown supplies water to Royalton.

Hot buys

• Electric moist heating pad, $9.99. Canon hand-held printing calculator, $25.99. Fuji HR color disc film, $3.99. Rea and Derick Drugs, Olmsted Plaza.

• Mixed fryer parts, 59 cents a pound. Pepsi, six-pack, 16-ounce nonreturnable bottles, $1.69. Martin’s kettle-cooked potato chips, 7 ounces for 89 cents. Fox’s Thriftway, 101 S. Union St., Middletown.

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