Mowrer served as Bethlehem's Mayor from 1974-1978, and as Acting Mayor in 1987. He passed away in 2016 at age 80.
Though credited with preserving Bethlehem's historic downtown, Morganelli hailed his former mentor as a pioneer of community policing. He established thee teams (Adam, Baker and Charlie) responsible for different areas of the City so that police officers and the community they served would know each other. His changes resulted in a dramatic reduction in crime.
According to Morganelli, the Mayor was so enthusiastic about building a positive police presence that he would often ride along with officers.
His city vehicle, a black Pontiac, was equipped with a siren, and Morganelli said theMayor used it a few times to give stern warnings to red light violators. This was confirmed by one reporter at Morganelli's announcement, who confessed he was once stopped by the "Main Street Mayor."
George Mowrer, son of the late Mayor, said he often rode along with his father. His widow Mary said her husband often bolted on date night when he heard a siren or saw police lights.
"He really made Bethlehem a safe community," added Bethlehem Mayor Bob Donchez, whose late father was a police detective. Police Chief Mark DiLuzio said Mowrer was the Mayor who made sure officers were equipped with bulletproof vests.