Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Lower Pottsgrove Police Kudos and Sanatoga Green

Photos by Evan Brandt
Lower Pottsgrove Township Commissioner Ray Lopez shows one side of the township police commemorative medallion now being presented with police and citizen awards.

Police news was front and center Monday night as the Lower Pottsgrove Township Commissioners gathered for their first meeting of the month.

Police Chief Michael Foltz recognized Sgt. Scott Weidenhammer and his wife Vicki for all they did to ensure that the police department received its re-accreditation.

Lower Pottsgrove is one of about 110 law enforcement agencies out of 1,100 across the state that have achieved accreditation through the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police — Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission.

First accredited in 2014, the department must meet the 133 standards every three years to remain in good standing and Weidenhammer was in charge of that effort, as well as his other duties.

Commissioners Stephen Klotz and Earl Swavely, left and right,
applaud as Chief Mike Foltz congratulates Sgt. Scott
and his wife Vicki for their work on
the re-accreditation of the police department.
"There are a number of times when he was in here working on that when it was not his shift," said Foltz. He added that when the committee is here for its inspection, if was Weidenhammer and his wife who acted as hosts, with Vicki providing some home cooking as well as other support.

"We are certainly not the biggest department in the state to be accredited, but the fact that we are, and were re-confirmed shows the professionalism of this department," said Commissioner Earl Swavely, himself a former police chief.

"It's not any easier three years later," said Commissioners Vice Chairman Stephen Klotz.

Weidenhammer was presented with a commendation and his wife with a citizens award and both received the commemorative medallion the township had made up for police-related awards.

Next up was Sgt. William James, who wanted to thank the commissioners for the opportunity to attend the FBI National Academy, particularly given that only about 1 percent of those who apply are accepted.
Lower Pottsgrove Police Sgt. William James addresses
the township commissioners about the FBI Academy.

During his 10 weeks at the academy, James completed 30 hours of coursework in fitness in law enforcement and 45 hours each in courses including effective writing, public speaking, employment law issues for law enforcement executives, essentials for law enforcement leaders and law enforcement approaches to counter terrorism.

He said the difficulty of the work is the equivalent or a graduate school-level course.

Foltz also detailed a busy April for the department which included a DUI stop that netted several arrests, including a. weapons charge, to a vandalism spree in Rolling Hills and Walnut Ridge housing complexes on Easter weekend, in which one officer was nearly hit with a thrown battery.

In the another item of frequent discussion in the township building, Pottsgrove Schools Business Manager David Nester was on hand to provide the commissioners with the demographic study the district had delivered recently.

It told a much different tale of how many new students two large housing developments on tap in the township -- Sanatoga Green and Spring Valley Farms -- might generate.

The upshot, "the numbers are conservative but about twice what the developer predicted," Nester said.
Pottsgrove Schools Business Manager Dave Nester, right,
outlines the results of the district's latest demographic study.

He was informed by Chad Camburn, one of the township's engineers from Burshich Assoc., that Spring Valley Farms is contemplating changing its plan from two-story family homes to single story ranches marketed toward homeowners over 50, which would reduce the number of children the district would have to accommodate.

"That's much appreciated," Nester replied.

Camburn also said the number of townhomes in the Sanatoga Green project has bee reduced slightly, but that the developers there are pushing very hard to move the process forward.

He said last month he and the township received 12 submissions from Castle Caldecott LLC. "They're being very cooperative, but they're anxious. Hopefully, after they get preliminary approval, they'll take a breath," he said.

Camburn also said that between Sanatoga Green, a commercial property being proposed for the adjacent property, and the development of commercial property adjacent to the Turkey Hill on East High Street, that PennDOT, Limerick and Lower Pottsgrove are ready to back a regional traffic study for the entire Sanatoga Route 422 interchange area.

Look to future reports in The Mercury for more on these items.

In the meantime, here are the ever-lovin' Tweets!

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