Borough honors chief
With a shaky hand and a shaky voice, Perkasie Borough police Chief Joseph Gura accepted a plaque for his 32 years of service at the borough council meeting Tuesday, Jan. 22.
Gura faltered as he looked at the GRzHQ RIfiFHrs sWDQGLQJ LQ WhH EDFN of borough hall and took the plaque from Mayor John Hollenbach, then, with tears in his eyes, he said he wished his father could be there.
The chief’s father passed away a few days before the Michael Marino Jr. shooting in June.
Interim Chief Steve Hillias, who was sworn in later that night by Hollenbach, spoke about Gura’s service in the police force.
“He taught us a lot over the years, so we thank you for that. Most peoSOH WhLQN RI RIfiFHrs Ds HQIRrFHrs RI the law and that is true, but so much PRrH RI WhDW Ls sHrvLFH,” HLOOLDs sDLG.
He gave an example of a time in 1987 when a child ran into the side of a dump truck and suffered serious injuries. Hillias said the chief wDs WhH firsW RQH RQ WhH sFHQH, DQG after he had isolated the injury to
the child’s foot and ankle area, the chief “looked at the child and felt compassion.” Gura lay down and comforted the child until the medics came, Hillias said.
“That characterizes the compassion and service that the chief has showed us over 32 years,” Hillias said.
Sellersville Mayor Thomas Hufnagle was also present at Tuesday’s meeting and thanked Gura for his service. Hufnagle said Gura had been not just a police chief to them, but a friend.
Hollenbach also took a turn thanking Gura by saying the chief not only had to manage keeping his own department on task, but he also had to deal with the mayor and borough council.
GuUD WKDQNHG KLV RIficers, previous Chief Tim Dickinson, his staff and his secretaries, whom he referred to as his “lieutenants.”
Council also discussed three proposals for search fiUPV WR KLUH WKH QHxW SRlice chief, and after a brief discussion, SafeCity Solutions was chosen.
A Lafayette College VHDUFK fiUP DQG WKH 3HQQsylvania Chiefs of Police Association were cheaper options in the $7,000 to $9,500 range, but the majority of council members believed SafeCity Solutions showed the most thorough hiring process.
The price of SafeCity Solutions is $7,950 plus a background check of the candidates for $2,500 and an interviewing panel for $1,800, for a total of $12,250.
Gura’s predecessor, Dickinson, is a principal in the SafeCity Solutions company, according to Borough Manager Daniel Olpere.
The interviewing panel will consist of three prominent chiefs of police from the area who will be paid to assist in evaluating the candidates.
The SafeCity Solutions option may have been the PRVW DSSHDOLQJ fiUP EHcause it offered some addons. One was a video presentation exercise where candidates would prepare a video demonstrating how well they handle the public. In another exercise, the candidate would be required to go through a stack of issues — per- sonnel, public relations or safety issues, for example — and evaluate the priorities and actions to be taken. In a similar exercise, the candidate would be given one complicated problem to assess for 15 minutes before making a presentation before the panel on how he or should would assess the problem.
In a roll call vote, everyone on council voted to accept SafeCity Solutions’ proposal except for three council members: Suzanne hravitz, Steve Algeo and Jim Ryder.
Ryder said he wanted to see more background information and references about the three VHDUFK fiUPV. 2WKHU FRuQcil members noted they wanted to start the hiring process as soon as possible.