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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.

11 comments

  • Me

    They suspend him, yet GIVE him 30 grand to disappear????
    Then on top of it , they abolish the dept for “money issues”??
    You just gave someone $30 grand !!!!!
    I can curse and shoot a gun. Wheres my $30 grand ?
    This is the problem with Pa. All corruption, no money, but yet these a$$es keep getting lucrative raises!!!
    Can someone please call the FBI to take over the funding for the entire state of Pa. Our governor is an idiot and has no clue how to run this state

  • Red Tornado Exile

    I’m going to hope, and speak and act in a way that respects Gilberton, PA, no matter how rich or poor or or fancy or simple the place appears to those looking in at it. To many honest, hard-working people, it’s called home, and it’s important to them. We each live in a place imperfect, and we don’t enjoy when others criticize our hometown out of ignorance and with unprovoked malice. The critics of the Gilberton community sound a bit like playground bullies who lack empathy and respect for fellow Americans. Bullies are usually full of their own pain and strike out to mask and relieve that personal pain. Gilberton was thrown into the spotlight by the misguided public behavior of a town employee. The wild rants are over, the authorities came and took Mark Kessler’s professional career, as he taunted them to do. Stable and moderate voices prevailed, the 2A is intact, and I’m pumping out these words through my 1A heritage. My guns and I don’t fear my government, but we do fear extremist behavior that creates false crises around those topics and makes responsible gun owners look bad by association. The Chief cried,”wolf,”on 1A and 2A for personal attention. He got that attention and lost a lot more in the process, professional and personal. Now, most thoughtful and balanced people have stopped listening to his manic rants and echoes from Schuylkill County, PA. Eyes scan the media horizon for the next incarnation of Chief Kessler’s crusade to protect 1A and 2A from perceived threats. Go at it, Chief, if it rocks your boat. Let the small town of Gilberton, PA get back to being a genuine part of the culture and pulse of Pennsylvania Anthracite Coal Country.Go, Gilberton, you rock! I’ll stop in this Spring when I’m visiting family friends in the region.

  • me

    Retire…..thats kind of odd….don’t you need a real job to retire….something you make a 30 year or so career out of. What did he retire from himself? Don’t you need a real job that pays more than a burger flipper at McDonalds ….a job with benifits to retire….what a joke!

    • wee man

      Yes…i hear gilberton has an awesome 401k with a matching contribution program….retire and max out your salary at a whopping 13 bucks an hour!

  • Joe Schmoe

    What is Gilberton going to do with the guns he used? With no police department, they don’t need them anymore. I think they should go back to Kessler. Have fun with code enforcement being shoved down your throats now Gilberton!

  • mdog

    George Carlin sold albums with much more vulgarity….
    Yet we allowed our kids to buy them…then came RAP…OH
    BOY.
    Some of his video’s are comical. Like a new wave comic.
    I found them on youtube.

  • mdog

    I RESEARCHED HIS video’s and found he is a nice guy who
    is fighting police brutality and current training methods.
    Oh yes and he has never shot anyone and gave perpetrators
    a fair shake…tried to help people straiten up rather than destroy their life with a record and fines. That’s my take on what i learned of
    him the internet interviews.

    • Kaly

      But did you watch the rants and really listen to his words? He was supposed to be an officer of the law and a role model, not a vulgar, hate-spewing embarrassment!

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