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Sgt. Zehring of Middletown Police Department demoted back to patrol officer

By Dan Miller

danmiller@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 11/19/19

Middletown Borough Council voted Tuesday to demote Police Sgt. Tyler Zehring to patrol officer.

It was a 3-1 vote, with Jenny Miller abstaining. Council President Angela Lloyd voted no.

The …

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Sgt. Zehring of Middletown Police Department demoted back to patrol officer

Posted

Middletown Borough Council voted Nov. 19 to demote Police Sgt. Tyler Zehring to patrol officer.

It was a 3-1 vote, with Jenny Miller abstaining. Council President Angela Lloyd voted no.

The vote came after a closed-door executive session.

Details behind the demotion have not been released publicly. Zehring did not respond to a request for comment left by the Press & Journal. However, a comment on his behalf was emailed to the Press & Journal Nov. 20 by Craig McGowan with the National Fraternal Order of Police.

“We have no comment on the council's action at this time,” McGowan said. “Sgt. Zehring who has had excellent evaluations as a sergeant has not received anything official at this time as to what actions are being taken and why. The chief of police has yet to receive anything as to these actions and why. So until we see what the justifications are for these actions, it would be premature to comment.”

Council member Richard Kluskiewicz — who made the motion to demote Zehring  — would not provide any comment.

Interim Police Chief Dennis Morris declined comment when contacted by the Press & Journal.

Zehring was promoted to sergeant by council in January. He had been with the Middletown force since July 2015, when he was hired as a part-time officer. He was made a full-time officer in July 2016.

In July 2016 Zehring was credited with making more arrests — 99 — than any other officer on the force, despite having spent most of that year on a part-time basis.

He was promoted to sergeant at the time over other full-time officers with the department who had more experience and who had also applied for the sergeant’s position. His pay jumped from $67,995 as a patrol officer at the time to $85,862 a year.

Explaining her reason for abstaining on the vote to demote Zehring, Miller said she had abstained from the vote to promote Zehring to sergeant.

Miller’s son is a full-time patrol officer with the Middletown department who would be supervised by Zehring as a sergeant, Miller said at the time of the vote to promote Zehring.