|Fountain Hill PD recognized for traffic safety enforcement|
Chief Trachta had no problem calling the press so he could parade littering suspects before them, chaied and shackled, in what is called a perp walk. But he seems to have a big problem in seeking grants that would actually help his department combat real crime.
In the current round of COPS grants awarded by the Department of Justice, Nazareth is missing. COPs grants have funded 3,611 police officers in Pennsylvania, but not in Nazareth. Over $14 million has been awarded for school resource officers, but not in Nazareth. $63 million hads been awarded from crime-fighting technology, but not in Nazareth. Bangor, Bushkill, Colonial Regional, Plainfield, Bethlehem, Easton, Forks, Northampton and even North Catasauqua are just some of the local municipalities who got money from the feds for better police protection. But not Nazareth.
Grants from the feds are getting tougher. But on a state level, the Pennsylvania Traffic Safety Enforcement Center awards grants for aggressive driving, seat belt safety and DUI sweeps. Last month, Lehigh County DA Jim Martin recognized several Northampton County police officers and departments for their participation in these programs. But Nazareth failed to participate.
This lapse has only occured since Trachta became Chief. Prior to that, Nazareth did qualify and obtain some grant funding from these state-funded programs.
These grants are what enable a small department like Nazareth to fund an extra police officer on Friday or Saturday nights. But Chief Trachta has refused to participate or obtain any grants on his own. As a result, Nazareth taxpayers are funding other departments, while their own has regular lapses in police coverage.