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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tales of Trachta: We Don't Need No Steenkin' Grants

Fountain Hill PD recognized for traffic safety enforcement
One of the most important things a police chief does, especially in a small department, is secure grants. That reduces  That reduces the bottom line at budget time. It also leads to increased patrols and better equipment, improving public safety. Yet Nazareth Police Chief Thomas Trachta ignores them. It's pretty amazing behavior in a department that Mayor Carl Stryle recently commended.

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.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

He opposes handouts, good for him. the drains on society don't understand that these grants are not for free, someone pays. The Chief is frugal, thank God!

Anonymous said...

There are law enforcement grant consultants available Who apply for grants for smaller police departments.

CSF said...

I hope the chief "grants" your wish to be back in the drunk tank where your shower will be administered via a fire hose as your blubber is power washed by Trachta who does in fact bear a striking resemblance to Brian Dennehy.

Anonymous said...

No grants for TV'S?

Anonymous said...

The Chief has a moral obligation to secure funding for the borough. His fiduciary responsibility is the the residents.

Perhaps council needs to deliver a clear message.

Anonymous said...

This is the root of his problem, he simply does not care!

FT = FIRE TRACHTA
FT = FIRE TRACHTA
FT = FIRE TRACHTA
FT = FIRE TRACHTA
FT = FIRE TRACHTA
FT = FIRE TRACHTA
FT = FIRE TRACHTA
FT = FIRE TRACHTA
FT = FIRE TRACHTA
FT = FIRE TRACHTA

Anonymous said...

So we're back at this again huh ? Why is it that you can not leave this man alone ? Do you have a personal obsession? Maybe the chief would have time to apply for grants if he did not constantly defend himself to council with all of your bs accusations on him and his officers.... Ever think of that????? All your doing by all of your un warranted rants is proving to everyone that the chief is not really the problem and it is more of a personal vendetta on your behalf! Why is it that you can not just stay out of the way? If you were welcome in public service you would still be there! It is really annoying to see all of this all the time ! I understand if there is an issue there should be an obligation for the public to know but to me seems more of a personal attack on a good man !!!

Anonymous said...

It actually takes basic writing skills and intelligence to apply for a grant. That might seem like an intended insult toward Trachta, but if the shoe fits.
Getting a grant isn't simply a matter of asking, "Can my PD have X amount of money?"
Trachta probably didn't want to embarrass himself by trying to create a presentation on paper, using proper grammar and correct spelling.

Anonymous said...

@7:22

Trachta is not a good man and he is the problem that needs to be removed from his position before the good taxpaying citizens of Nazareth are stuck paying for the multi-million dollar lawsuits that he will cause!

Anonymous said...

Stand up for check stealers and druggies, fire Trachta

Anonymous said...

anonymous 7:22
If you don't like this blog, stop coming to this site. There are other blogs you can read. You sound like the Chief of police or that other gun toting nut job from the Easton area. Bernie provides a great service. Most of his information is newsworthy and much of what he reports shows up in the local papers, only you read it here first.
Bernie has admitted his addiction to alcohol and has admitted he is a recoverning alcoholic. Now all we need is for you (anon 7:22) to admit to your mental illness and enroll in a recovery program.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the boy can not read or write

Anonymous said...

Trachta is living proof that some condoms have holes in them.

Anonymous said...

Grants are not free, and often come with strings attached. How often do we hear complaints about federal and state mandates? Many of those mandates start with voluntarily accepting grant money from the federal or state government.

In addition, municipalities are often duped into adding positions that they can't really afford once the grants run out. That leads to severe budget consequences down the road.

I'm not saying all grants are bad, but there is much more to be considered than just applying for everything out there.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"The Chief is frugal, thank God!"

It's the opposite. Thanks to his unwillingness to seek grsnts, Nazareth residents pay more for police services, and their state and federal taxes fund other departments. Not much frugal about that.

Anonymous said...

722 well written!!

Bernie O'Hare said...

"So we're back at this again huh ? Why is it that you can not leave this man alone ?"

I think people have a right to know that Trachta refuses to do what every other Chief does without thinking. That decision alone costs the borough at least $100k per year.

Anonymous said...

"Last month, Lehigh County DA Jim Martin recognized several Northampton County police officers and departments for their participation in these programs."

That begs a couple of questions:

1) Why didn't Morganelli recognize the NorCo police departments, and

2) Why are we recognizing participation? Wouldn't it be better to recognize some sort of measurable outcome from the programs? Or doesn't that happen in government?

Bernie O'Hare said...

In answer to your questions,

1) The ceremony took place in LC, and John and Jim have different styles. Martin is big on administration and these programs that ultimately reduce the need for prosecution. Morganelli is more prosecution-oriented. Both styles work.

2) There were measurable outcomes to those events, and that is what was recognized.

Anonymous said...

Didnt you leave out that matching funds are required for these grants?

Bernie O'Hare said...

No. Many of these grants do not require matching funds. Face it, the guy is not doing what a chief is supposed to do.

Anonymous said...

what is your obsession with trachta? Are you a fag?

Anonymous said...

Is Trachta a fag?

Well that explains everything...

Bernie O'Hare said...

A homophobic comment like the one at 7:26 diminishes the troll who posted it, as well as those who support Trachta.

Anonymous said...

He's too stupid and lazy to complete grant paperwork. He's barely had a police department and half of council was under police investigation for most of the last two years. Bernie, there's a book in you and there's a book to be written about Nazareth. You just can't make this shit up.

Anonymous said...

You gotta stop using the term "homophobic". It legitimizes the term "homo" in referring to those who find a Johnson more appealing than a cameltoe as "homos".

It is politically incorrect to refer to a "homo" as a "homo". Calling someone a "homo" is demeaning and derogatory. A homophobe is someone who fears a "homo", which is not a moniker welcomed by those who choose to cruise the hershey highway.

NTTAWWT.

-Clem

Anonymous said...

The defining work that speaks to this situation is Arlo Guthrie's "Alice's Restaurant". In it the chief makes an extraordinary effort to identify and arrest those who litter. In this instance the chief did make use of grants, but one could say that they were misused.

Anonymous said...

Begs the question then Clem:

Is Trachta a "homo"?

Anonymous said...

Don't know, don't care. I was just goofing on the PC thing, misnomers, and contradictory co-opting of terminology by the thought police.

To the point of the post, turning away from grants is a good thing in my book. Just because the bank vault is open doesn't give us the right to walk in and take the money. Reform will start at the bottom, not from the benevolent benefactor "Grantors" of other peoples' money.

As for the whole mess up there, I posted about a positive experience interacting with the chief and department on one occasion. But. considering the whole picture, it is not looking very good at this point. Many valid criticisms, exposing yet another failure of government, and those who are supposed to empower it, have been presented.

I am not one to say "Well, the criticisms are wrong, it couldn't be so, because...me." That attitude has resulted in the failure that is government on the whole.

-Clem

Anonymous said...

so when is something going to happen or is council and the mayor just going to let this blow over??

Bernie O'Hare said...

Be patient. There are many ways to handle this, and the least attractive is borough council or the Mayor.