|Trachta in his man cave|
Though Nazareth periodically squabbles, it is only in recent years that the police department has become a problem. The problems pretty much started with the appointment of Chief Thomas Trachta in 2009. After his arrival, morale within the department began to sink. Residents making calls for police protection on Saturday nights would wait over an hour, and it would be a state trooper who would respond instead of a Nazareth officer. Trachta openly defied instructions from Council members like Larry Stoudt concerning a TV at the police station, with the borough footing the cable bill.
“Who’s running the borough?" asked Stoudt in early 2012 "The chief and police department or this council sitting here running the borough? It’s time council decides who’s running the borough.”
Apparently, it's Trachta.
A few months after Stoudt's complaints, this veteran who devoted his life to the borough found himself arrested for attempting to thwart an investigation into poker machines at social clubs. The person who dimed him was Trachta.
Stoudt had suspicions that a recent club application at the Legion was bogus, and wanted it checked out. Trachta contends that Stoudt was trying to derail the state police operation.*
I believe Stoudt, who was placed on ARD. But Trachta had achieved his goal. He publicly disgraced his chief critic, and in a way that made it look as though he was cleaning up corruption. He got Stoudt thrown off the police committee. He even wrote to the Governor, demanding that Stoudt be removed from office, though he failed there.
Trachta had another vocal critic on the police committee. Unfortunately for him, he was caught by one of Nazareth's finest, with his pants down, taking a wizz. To me, this is no big deal. Piss happens. To him and his family, it was humiliating. The family begged Chief Shit Analyzer to let him go, and even provided a statement concerning a medical condition that leads to frequent and sometimes uncontrollable pee pee stops.
I'm not naming this Council member out of respect for him and his family, who really were upset. Trachta gave this guy a break, but not out of compassion. Like Stoudt, he had to step off the police committee. In the meantime, he was able to install people more to his own liking.
Instead of hiring vets who served this country honorably in Iraq, he began hiring part-time officers with no military or life experience and shady backgrounds They listen to him.
Trachta has warned Council members that he keeps a file on each and every one of them.
He tried to get former Council member Jack Herbst, who's had enough after 12 years. Herbst knew what was going on and installed video cameras at his home. These were not to protect him from criminals, but Trachta.
This is how a borough like Nazareth loses control of its government. Town fathers elected by the people are scared into silence by a dictator from Brooklyn South.
And there goes democracy.
Most of the Nazareth police officers are decent and honorable men, but Trachta is teaching them NY tricks on beating the system.
As Independence Day approaches, it is nice to know there are still those who are willing to stand up to Trachta. One such person is Trevor Gehret, who was marched like a hardened criminal in chains for tiny stickers that say, "FT Fire Trachta."
But what about the people we elect to represent us? Are they going to allow a problem cop drive Nazareth into bankruptcy with civil rights suits? Are they going to allow him to persecute a woman and call her a "public menace" simply because she walks other people's dogs?
I will ask Council when they meet on Monday night. If they are unwilling to take action, they should all step down and just declare Trachta as Dictator.
* Not long ago, Trachta had the PSP run a criminal background check on one of his own officers, Danny Troxell, claiming it was for "investigation." He may only request a criminal background check for that reason or if someone has applied to him to be a police officer. After obtaining the criminal background, he gave it to Troxell. He has been attaching it to resumes to various police departments. The Chief misused borough resources to save Troxell a few lousy dollars. He also had Stoudt prosecuted for doing what he does himself.