A highlight of the March 22 Lower Saucon Township Council meeting was the swearing in of three full-time police officers recently hired by the Lower Saucon Township Police Department.
The new officers sworn in by District Judge Alan Mege included Kyle Bartholomew, Zachariah Pritchard and Tyler Seeley.
Bartholomew is a 2002 graduate of Saucon Valley High School, a 2004 graduate of Northampton Community College with a specialized degree in Emergency Services and a 2012 graduate of the Montgomery County Police Academy who worked as a part-time officer with the LSTPD from September 2012 until this month. He also previously worked as a part-time officer in Hellertown.
Pritchard is a 2009 graduate of Salem Christian School in Macungie, a 2013 Kutztown University graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and a 2014 graduate of the Allentown Police Academy. He previously worked as a part-time officer with the LSTPD from September 2015 to June 2016 before leaving to work full-time with the Allentown Police Department.
Seeley is a 2015 graduate of Northampton Area High School, a 2018 graduate of Northampton Community College with an Associate’s degree in Criminal Justice and a 2019 graduate of the Allentown Police Academy. He worked as a part-time Lower Saucon officer from May 2022 until being hired full-time and also previously worked part-time for the Nazareth and Walnutport Police departments.
Earlier this year, citing staffing concerns amid a recent uptick in burglaries, Lower Saucon Township Council approved hiring a total of four full-time officers for the department.
“We’ve had an increase in crime,” council president Jason Banonis said at the meeting, “just because of the nature of society and how it is now.”
He added that he hoped the three new officers–and the addition of a fourth in the near future–will increase morale in the department, which Police Chief Tom Barndt had said was stretched thin.
At the meeting, Barndt also announced that the department was recently reaccredited by the Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission.
It was the department’s third reaccreditation since first becoming an accredited law enforcement agency nearly a decade ago, he said.
The reaccreditation process takes place every three years and requires departments to meet more than 100 standards, Barndt told council.
He credited the work of LSTPD Det. Cpl. Christopher Leidy, who led the most recent reaccreditation effort, with helping to ensure that the process was completed smoothly.
The township police department began as an all-volunteer force in 1930 and today includes nearly 25 officers, the majority of whom are full-time employees.
More information about the Lower Saucon Township Police Department is available on the township website. Residents can also follow Lower Saucon Police via their Crimewatch website for public safety, traffic and other important updates.