Lehigh Valley

Longtime officer sworn in as Lower Saucon top cop

Thomas Barndt also a lifelong resident of area

LOWER SAUCON TWP., Pa. - It was an emotional evening for Lower Saucon Township's new Chief of Police Thomas Barndt, who was sworn in to his new position by local District Justice Alan Mege Wednesday evening during the township's semi-monthly council meeting.

Addressing a packed council meeting room filled with  family, friends, fellow officers and local fire police members, Barndt declared, "I am Saucon Valley proud!"

He noted that he was born and raised and currently lives in Saucon Valley with his family.

He teared up slightly as he thanked his father, Howdy, 78, present in the crowd, and fondly remembered his deceased mother, in addition to expressing his love for his wife Kim and their eight children ranging in age from 22 to 8, all of whom were in attendance to see their father being sworn in.

Barndt said his children have called him "chief "prior to his 28 years on the Lower Saucon police force, when he formerly served as both chief and assistant chief of the Se-Wy-Co Volunteer Fire Co. for over 30 years.

He said upon informing his youngest son Ezekiel that he was chosen for Lower Saucon's top cop job, the boy loudly yelled to his mother, "Mom, the chief got the chief's job!"

Barndt was selected for the position, which pays an annual salary of $93,400, following a nationwide search of 51 candidates by a police chief interview panel consisting of two each council members and resident volunteers, the township manager, an interim police chief and the president of the Lower Saucon Police Association Jeremy Hantz.

"My position incorporates much more than simply acting as an agency head,” he said. “It comes with a great deal of responsibility to the residents and the officers of the department to which I will bring the highest levels of integrity, compassion, restraint and respect for all."

In addition, he pledged to residents a police department that is transparent, accountable and accessible. He also emphasized the importance of the relationship between his force and the community, school district, and local business owners.

"Safe communities are ones where police and residents work together, and I will make every effort to improve upon this," he pointed out.

Barndt is a 1982 graduate of Saucon Valley High School and in 1990 graduated from the Allentown Police Academy. Throughout his tenure with Lower Saucon, he has won over a dozen Officer of the Year awards and several DUI enforcement awards.

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