Bor­ough hon­ors chief

News-Herald (Perkasie, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Meghan Ross

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.

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