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Lower Swatara hires two new police officers, now has 14 total on force

By Laura Hayes

laurahayes@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 5/16/18

Lower Swatara has two new police officers.

The board unanimously voted to hire Spencer Rios and Antonio Gonzalez Jr., starting May 14 at an hourly rate of $24.14.

“[They’re] two …

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Lower Swatara hires two new police officers, now has 14 total on force

Posted

Lower Swatara has two new police officers.

The board unanimously voted to hire Spencer Rios and Antonio Gonzalez Jr., starting May 14 at an hourly rate of $24.14.

“[They’re] two good guys, and I think they’ll make the township proud,” Vice President Todd Truntz said.

According to Acting Police Chief Scott Young, Rios grew up in Lower Swatara and graduated from Middletown Area High School. Recently, he’s been working at Millersville University. Gonzalez is from New York and has worked in Maryland and Florida.

Young said Rios and Gonzalez bring the number of Lower Swatara officers to 14. At its peak, there were 17 officers on the force.

Young said the department hopes to hire one or two more officers following the next police exam in June.

Rios and Gonzalez, Young said, presented themselves well and had good references.

Officer Scott Flowers resigned from the department in January. Flowers was charged with four counts each of criminal trespassing, forgery, tampering with physical evidence, possession of a controlled substance and five counts of theft by unlawful taking in late March after he allegedly stole drugs from the evidence locker. Flowers’ case is scheduled for a plea hearing July 10.

The public safety director position, which handles the administrative and operational duties of the police department among other duties, also has been vacant since former township manager Frank Williamson resigned in July 2017. Williamson became Lower Swatara’s assistant township manager and public safety director in August 2016 and continued to be the public safety director when he became manager.

In an interview, board president Jon Wilt said the board is considering other possibilities than hiring another public safety director. Traditionally municipalities have a police chief, he said. The Lower Swatara public safety director oversaw the police department, fire protection and coordination with emergency management agencies.