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Gilberton Police Department Disbanded

GILBERTON — Officials in Gilberton have decided not to hire a replacement for controversial and outspoken former Police Chief Mark Kessler. The mayor said it’s to save money.

A week ago, Gilberton officials settled a dispute with former Police Chief Mark Kessler. They paid him $30,000.  In return he retired.

Kessler was suspended last year for using police department guns allegedly without permission. He posted a vulgarity-laced video online.

This week borough council took the first step to eliminate the one-man police department.

Mayor Mary Lou Hannon said it’s all to save money.

“I think we can put that money to use that money possibly for a code enforcement officer, something that is much needed right now.”

Jack McCarthy owns a garage and is OK with losing local police protection.

“The state police are fine, they’re in Frackville and they come as they’re needed. As far as speeders, maybe the coal trucks going through town they won’t pick up on that but as far as protection, they do their job well,” McCarthy said.

Businessman Bob Meyer said he wants a local police department.

“It’s always good having somebody in your home town looking after you. They cared a little bit more. I think the people in town felt safer when that was in effect,” Meyer explained.

Former Police Chief Mark Kessler said council made the right decision in disbanding the police department. He’s glad he retired and is looking forward to the future.


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