KISKIMINETAS TOWNSHIP, Pa. — On Wednesday, Kiski Township’s Board of Supervisors voted to hire two new part-time police officers.
The decision comes after four of the township’s six officers and the police secretary resigned last week over claims of harassment, intimidation, and a hostile work environment at the hands of township supervisors.
As a result of the turnover in the police department, state police have been handling all emergency calls for Kiski Township and North Apollo.
June Kilgore, the mayor of North Apollo, tells Channel 11 that the approval of the new officers is a great relief.
“We have two banks in our town, the community at large, several businesses there. It’s very important to have police coverage,” said Kilgore.
Wednesday’s vote and accepting the resignation of the department’s former officers now brings the department staff up to four, including a new police chief who was hired last week.
In a statement, Kiski Township police chief Lee Bartolicius said:
“To the residents of Kiski Township in North Apollo borough, these are unprecedented times for both communities. The events of last week created a difficult and immediate challenge in my very first week as a Kiski Township police chief. Nevertheless, this is a challenge I willingly and wholeheartedly accept. My goal is to rebuild the police force and restaff the police force as quickly as possible. I am also eager to regain the confidence of the residents of both communities. I believe very soon that the Kiski Township Police Department will be stronger than ever and provide the services and police protection that both Kiski Township and North Apollo deserve.”
While it’s unclear what led to the recent resignations and division in the department, the township solicitor said state police are investigating and the board will not comment on the allegations against the officers.
According to the board of supervisors, the new officers will be on patrol as soon as this weekend, pending clearances and a vetting process. The board claims full-time applicants are on the way.
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