Monday, January 23, 2012

Borough cops name Shane Deardorff 2011 Officer of the Year

Police officers in the Elizabethtown Police Department selected Shane M. Deardorff as the 2011 Officer of the Year. He was honored at the Jan. 19 Borough Council meeting.

Dearforff is the first officer to have received the honor twice. He also was named the 2006 Officer of the Year.

In 2011, Officer Deardorff oversaw the police department's Field Training Officer program after the borough hired two new officers. He also completed the training of a third officer who was hired in 2010.

The FTO program is designed to mold fresh-out-of-the-academy police officers through an intense 8- to 16-week program, teaching them everything that is expected of them. This includes the most routine tasks to the most dangerous situations. Deardorff has expanded the program and developed into a model.

"The administration of the FTO program is very demanding," said police Chief Jack Mentzer. "It requires daily documentation, patience and one-on-one evaluation and feedback. Those tasks are in addition to his normal duties as a police officer. He is very conscientious and thorough in every facet of the job."

Deardorff's work in the FTO program was underscored at the Borough Council meeting when three of the four new officers attended to show their support.

In addition to his achievements in 2011, Deardorff has received numerous honors and recognition from the police department. They include letters of commendation, congratulatory letters, Distinguished Unit Citaitons and a marksmanship award. He was hired as a part-time police officer in 1998 and brought on full time in May 1999.

Monday, January 16, 2012

E-town's population drops 2.8%

Did you know Elizabethtown's population dropped 2.8 percent, according to the last U.S. Census? In 1990, the Census counted 11,879 residents in the borough, but two years ago it counted 11,545. It was the first drop in the borough's population since 1960, when Elizabethtown had 6,780 residents.

I have to thank a neighbor, Mike Schwartz, with compiling these numbers and putting them into a nice readable format online. If you're interested, I also created a Google Documents spreadsheet. In both cases, you can see how Elizabethtown compares with the state, Lancaster County and the rest of the country.

I could spend time speculating and surmising what the numbers mean. But I'm not sure that would be very enlightening, meaningful or helpful. If you have any thoughts, please share them in the comments.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Borough Council reorganizes; 3 incumbents sworn in for another term

Councilman Phil Clark takes the oath of office.
Mayor Chuck Mummert swears in Jeff McCloud.
Tom Shaud is sworn into his second term.
Elizabethtown Borough Council elected Councilman J. Neil Ketchum as its president for the next two years at council's reorganization meeting last night. Ketchum, a native of Elizabethtown, just started the third year of his first term in office. Former Council President Phil Clark was elected vice president.

State law requires that municipalities reorganize every two years. The reorganization is to be held the first Monday in January. Because this past Monday was recognized as the New Year's Day holiday, reorganization meetings were held Tuesday. The Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs has some good background information on the reorganization meeting.

At Elizabethtown's meeting, Clark and two of his fellow councilmen, Tom Shaud and I, were sworn into office for our second terms.

As one member of council, I can say it's been a privilege and an honor to serve the community, and I look forward to another productive and fruitful four years helping to move Elizabethtown forward.