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Stephen Powell, veteran RPD captain, to lead West Reading Police Department

RPD veteran tapped to lead West Reading's embattled force

WEST READING, Pa. - A veteran of the Reading Police Department will be heading across the river to lead West Reading's embattled police force.

The borough council voted late Tuesday night to hire Stephen Powell as the police department's new chief.

Powell has served on the city police force for about 22 years, rising through the ranks to become captain and lead the department's patrol division.

Powell is expected to take charge in West Reading in next two or three weeks, filling a post left vacant by the firing of longtime Chief Ed Fabriziani in November, officials said.

Fabriziani's termination, brought about by a fight in his office with Ofc. Ronald Ladd, was later rescinded by borough council, allowing him to return to the force as a patrol officer.

The borough has refused to rehire Ladd, who was also terminated from the force.

The West Reading department was also plagued by a number of incidents involving the improper use of stun guns by officers, which prompted a number of firings and suspensions. Some of the dismissed officers were later reinstated.

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