North­ern Berks Po­lice wel­come new of­fi­cer

Of­fi­cer Shea Nolan, a for­mer Marine, started on Jan. 29

The Kutztown Area Patriot - - FRONT PAGE - By Lisa Mitchell lmitchell@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @kutz­town­pa­triot and ham­burg item on Twit­ter

The new year has brought a few changes to North­ern Berks Re­gional Po­lice Depart­ment, which serves Maiden­creek Town­ship, On­te­launee Town­ship and Leesport Bor­ough. The depart­ment wel­comed Of­fi­cer Shea Nolan, a for­mer Marine, on Jan. 29.

“I ap­pre­ci­ate the sup­port that we’ve been hav­ing from all of the res­i­dents and the busi­ness peo­ple in our com­mu­nity,” said North­ern Berks Po­lice Chief Brian Horner. “I can see that we are more rec­og­nized lately. I don’t know if it’s be­cause of the guys be­ing more ac­tive out on the street. The guys have been do­ing an out­stand­ing job pa­trolling. The three sergeants have re­ally stepped up and pulled their weight to bet­ter the depart­ment by mak­ing pos­i­tive changes.”

Horner said the depart­ment in­sti­tuted new stan­dard op­er­at­ing pro­ce­dures. There have been changes with the of­fi­cers’ uni­forms, be­ing more vis­i­ble as po­lice of­fi­cers. They also plan to change the look of the cars.

“To have a new look, be­cause when I was sworn in (as chief), I said I wanted a new be­gin­ning of the depart­ment,” said Horner. “Every­thing is go­ing in the right di­rec­tion as planned. I ap­pre­ci­ate the com­mu­nity stick­ing with us. Dur­ing the hol­i­days they treated us very well, bring­ing in a lot of good­ies for us to eat.”

Of­fi­cer Shea Nolan, 28, was sworn in by Judge Brian Strand and wit­nessed by Chief Brian Horner in Jan­u­ary. North­ern Berks Re­gional Po­lice Com­mis­sion voted to hire Nolan on Jan. 15. He of­fi­cially started work­ing for the depart­ment on Jan. 29.

“He was the top can­di­date that we had that we hired out of this last test­ing. We had ap­prox­i­mately 37 ap­pli­cants that were el­i­gi­ble and out of that list, Bern Town­ship has hired two of­fi­cers and we hired Shea and we’re go­ing to be hir­ing an ad­di­tional of­fi­cer com­ing up at the next Com­mis­sion meet­ing,” said Horner. “We’ve been short handed due to of­fi­cers (out on in­jury leave). Also, our call vol­ume has def­i­nitely in­creased over the last few years. We’ve been work­ing at a 14-man level for many years. It’s time that we needed to add another of­fi­cer to get our staff up to where we be­long. I would even­tu­ally like to see us at 16 full timers but I’m very happy that the Com­mis­sion has agreed to hire an ex­tra guy to put us up to a 15-man level.”

Nolan will be par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Field Train­ing Of­fi­cer Pro­gram, which Horner said can last some time, un­til Nolan is ready to be put out on the street.

Nolan said he was born and raised in New Jersey. He served in the Marines. Af­ter re­turn­ing from serv­ing in Ok­i­nawa, he and his wife moved to Berks County and en­rolled into the po­lice academy and re­cently grad­u­ated from the academy. What at­tracted Nolan to po­lice work is his de­sire to keep drugs off the streets; he lost fam­ily mem­bers to drug ad­dic­tion.

“It’s the abil­ity for me to help the com­mu­ni­ties and do my best as a po­lice of­fi­cer to keep the drugs off the street and make these com­mu­ni­ties safer and a bet­ter place to live,” said Nolan. “North­ern Berks Po­lice is an ex­pand­ing po­lice depart­ment; they’re grow­ing and they have a great rep­u­ta­tion al­ready. I look for­ward to be­ing able to add to that im­age that they have and to be able to grow with them, both as an of­fi­cer and as a per­son, to be able to pro­vide ser­vices to the town­ships that we serve.”

Nolan said he brings his mil­i­tary ex­pe­ri­ence to the depart­ment and de­scribed him­self as a self mo­ti­va­tor and is ea­ger to learn from the vet­eran of­fi­cers.

“I look for­ward to work­ing with ev­ery­body and I look for­ward to the op­por­tu­nity to get to know the mem­bers of the com­mu­nity,” said Nolan. “I’m ex­cited and ready to go.”

Another new ad­di­tion to the depart­ment are eight bal­lis­tic hel­mets, pur­chased with funds do­nated to the depart­ment. Cen­tral Berks Li­ons Club Pres­i­dent Ken­neth Sny­der pre­sented a do­na­tion check of $3,050 to the depart­ment in Jan­u­ary.

“It’s a bal­lis­tic hel­met that will pro­tect the of­fi­cers when we re­spond to an ac­tive shooter or any type of crit­i­cal in­ci­dent that would re­quire we be pro­tected. It pro­tects of­fi­cer’s head if they’re shot at,” said Horner. “Each of­fi­cer while on pa­trol will have a bal­lis­tic hel­met with them at all times. The three sergeants and my­self have a bal­lis­tic hel­met as­signed to us to keep with us at all times.”

In other news, Horner said North­ern Berks Re­gional Po­lice, along with Bern Twp. Po­lice, the Muh­len­berg Twp. Po­lice and the Lau­rel­dale Po­lice, are host­ing the 2018 Ci­ti­zen Po­lice Academy, com­bin­ing forces to pro­vide com­mu­ni­ties an op­por­tu­nity to go be­hind the scenes and ex­pe­ri­ence the jobs of po­lice of­fi­cers.

“It’s to ed­u­cate the cit­i­zens on what po­lice of­fi­cers do. They ac­tu­ally get to see what we do and they will even get hands-on (ex­pe­ri­ences) of what they do by at­tend­ing the classes, learn­ing what we’ve learned, see­ing what we do, tak­ing the ev­i­dence kit and let­ting them process a pre­tend crime scene, lift­ing prints,” said Horner. “We’re ed­u­cat­ing the com­mu­nity on what we do so they get a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of what our job en­tails.”

The Ci­ti­zen Po­lice Academy will be held ev­ery Tues­day from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Muh­len­berg Twp. Mu­nic­i­pal Build­ing, 210 Ge­orge St., be­gin­ning Feb. 13, and will be held ev­ery Tues­day for the next eight weeks. There will be an op­tional Weapons Fa­mil­iar­iza­tion class on March 24. The 2018 Ci­ti­zen Po­lice Academy is open to all res­i­dents of Bern Twp., Maiden­creek Twp., Muh­len­berg Twp., Lau­rel­dale Boro, Leesport Boro. and On­te­launee Twp., who are 18 years of age and older.

“This year is the most that we’ve ever had for peo­ple that wanted to at­tend the Ci­ti­zen Academy, and they still have time to sign up,” said Horner.

Sub­mit ap­pli­ca­tion form to the Po­lice Depart­ment in the mu­nic­i­pal­ity where you live.

For more in­for­ma­tion or to sign up for the Ci­ti­zen Po­lice Academy, visit the North­ern Berks Po­lice web­site at http://www.co.berks. pa.us/po­lice/nbrpd/Pages/ de­fault.aspx.

LISA MITCHELL - DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

North­ern Berks Re­gional Po­lice Depart­ment wel­comed newly hired Of­fi­cer Shea Nolan, left. On right is North­ern Berks Po­lice Chief Brian Horner stand­ing out front of the po­lice sta­tion in On­te­launee Town­ship.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Cen­tral Berks Li­ons Club Pres­i­dent Ken­neth Sny­der pre­sented the club’s do­na­tion of $3,050 to North­ern Berks Re­gional Po­lice Chief Brian Horner, cen­ter, in Jan­u­ary. Funds were used to pur­chase eight bal­lis­tic hel­mets for of­fi­cers.

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