A former law enforcement officer and Bethlehem resident has announced his candidacy for district judge. Van A. Scott Sr. is seeking the seat previously held by the late Magisterial District Judge Wayne Maura, who died unexpectedly in November.
District 31-1-06 covers wards 10, 11, 12, and 13 in West Bethlehem and Fountain Hill borough in Lehigh County.
A lifelong Bethlehem resident, Scott said he’s been a resident of the district for 21 years.
Following service in the U.S. Army immediately after his graduation from high school, Scott began his law enforcement career as a corrections officer at Lehigh County Prison, according to a biography included with a news release about his candidacy.
Scott then became a Bethlehem police officer.
“During his career of more than 20 years in the police department, he moved up through the ranks, retiring as a detective sergeant in the investigations unit,” the news release said. “While with the Bethlehem Police Department, Scott worked with diverse populations, serving at Liberty High School and East Hills Middle School as the resource officer and drug elimination officer with the Bethlehem Housing Authority.”
It added that Scott also implemented and hosted a block watch program in the area of Liberty High School area.
While employed as a police officer, Scott pursued several degrees, earning both a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice from DeSales University and a Master of Science in criminology/criminal justice from St. Joseph’s University, the news release said.
Scott is currently enrolled in the Master of Education program at Temple University and teaches at DeSales University and Lehigh Career & Technical Institute.
Scott said he holds licenses and certifications relevant to the community he would serve as district judge. They cover topics including Violent Crimes against Women, Street Gangs and Youth Violence/Sexual Assault, Child Sexual Exploitation, Crisis Intervention, Drug Interdiction, Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE), Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT), Development of Appreciation for Cultural Diversity, Courtroom Experience and Spanish for Law Enforcement.
He listed Northeast Ministries, Bethlehem Boys and Girls Club, Lehigh Valley Habitat for Humanity, Pennsylvania State Police Troop M Cadet Camp, City of Bethlehem Junior Police Academy and the City of Bethlehem Citizens Academy among the local organizations or groups to which he volunteers his time.
“The safety and equality of the community and its residents have always been a priority to me,” Scott said. “As your Magisterial District Judge, my experience and education will allow me to relate, interpret and apply the law accordingly with common sense and fairness.”
Pennsylvania’s primary election will be held Tuesday, May 18. The last day to register to vote in the primary is Monday, May 3.