No Colwyn police officers on duty for hours
COLWYN, Pa. - June 14, 2012 (WPVI) -- This was a difficult day for the Colwyn Police Department in Delaware County, largely because there really was no Colwyn Police Department and that's not supposed to happen.
For the better part of the day, the Colwyn Police Department sat empty with no one, absolutely no one, on duty or on patrol.
No one responding to 911 calls.
"For me to find out that there's no officer on duty in the middle of the afternoon, it's just a little scary," Colwyn resident Damien Ockimey said to Action News.
Ockimey was stunned when he went to the police department to ask a legal question and found no one there so he want across the street to City Hall where a clerk gave him the shocking news.
"She said, 'Right now, there's no officer on duty in Colwyn Borough,'" Ockimey said.
Normally, the department tries to have at least two officers on duty, but presently two are on suspension.
Add to that, the Chief of Police is sitting at home getting paid, but some city council members don't want him on duty for creating what they saw as too much overtime for officers. That matter is now in superior court.
Meanwhile, the deputy chief is in school getting training for upper management.
So today, when one officer called out sick in an emergency and another was taken to the hospital complaining of chest pains in the afternoon, that left no one on duty.
"For there to be an officer not on duty, I mean, come on," Ockimey said.
"It's a shortage; it's out of our hands right now, as far as the shortage. We're attempting to get as many new officers as we can," Colwyn Borough Mayor Daniel Rutland said.
Mayor Rutland was frantically making phone calls trying to reach other officers who come in on the midnight shift, but wasn't able to reach anyone right away.
Finally, he called Delaware County 911 and asked for help.
"I did get in contact with DelCom and trying to make some other calls for coverage and State Police are responding to calls right now," Rutland said.
At 4:45 p.m., Action News was on hand as State Police officers arrived responding to a domestic matter in the 200 block of Main Street. They were also on patrol for some time as borough officials tried to call in their own officers. Finally, they were able to reach one and swore in another officer, 20-year old-Matt Seydel, at tonight's City Council meeting.
So tonight the Colwyn Police Department was back in business with an officer and a newly sworn officer on patrol.
But clearly Colwyn has some work to do to avert another crisis until the police department is fully up to staff.
pennsylvania, delaware county, police, local/state, dann cuellar
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