|unmarked Nazareth cruiser.|
This meeting follows a private meeting of the Civil Service Commission, which rejected Chief Trachta's attempt to blackball an Iraq war veteran as a full-time police officer. He's been re-instated to his number one position, despite Trachta's attempt to muddy him up in favor of a part-time journeyman.
I've told you before that Borough Council is actually afraid of this Chief, especially after Council member Larry Stoudt was charged with obstructing a police investigation. Though vilified in the press, the case was never tried because Larry enrolled in ARD, a special program for first offenders. Trachta actually wrote to the Governor, seeking Stoudt's removal from office, but got nowhere.
Last year, Council members were provided copies of pictures hanging in the police department. They included Rev. Bill Matz, who was caricatured as a rat. They also included Jack Herbst, who was depicted with a knife in his back and some sort of warning. Herbst installed video surveillance at his home, not for burglars, but the police.
Unfortunately, both Herbst and Matz are no longer members of Council. The Borough Council that was ready to fire Trachta instead gave him a contract at the urging of Mayor Carl Strye.
On Thursday night, for the first time in years, the old Larry Stoudt returned. He already has a bull's eye on his back because this long-time police committee chair knew the games that were being played. Now he can add another bull's eye to his chest. But he's now representing the people instead of Trachta.
Stoudt complained about the cost of re-painting an unmarked car used by the Chief, who apparently didn't like the color. He also noted that there's no reason for him to have a tinted window, and complained about the fleet of seven cruisers owned by the department.
Now I believe there are legitimate reasons for tinted windows during stakeouts and for K-9 officers. But Nazareth has no K-9 officers, and Chief is strictly a 9 to 5 guy. In fact, when some Council members suggested that tinting is needed if someone is in the car, Stoudt said this:
"That's bull. That's bull. That's just somebody wants what they want and they're gonna' get it. That's crap."
I personally can see both sides of this question. That matters little to me. What does matter is that someone is finally starting to provide some oversight for the police. I see none anywhere else.