Lehigh Valley

Looking back at Chief MacLean's career with Allentown PD

Looking back at Chief MacLean's career with Allentown PD

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Changes have come to the Allentown Police Department. Chief among them is the retirement of the guy at the top. 

Police Chief Roger MacLean had his last day at the department Friday.  

"It's hard to believe that those 39 years have gone by," he shared. "It will sink in once I walk out."

MacLean walked into the department nearly four decades ago, starting out as a cadet and then becoming a patrolman in 1974.

"First day here in the department I was a rookie fresh out of the academy," MacLean said. "I worked 9 at night to 5 in the morning."

From there, he rose through the ranks, even spending some time on the department's mounted detail. 

MacLean was promoted to detective, then lieutenant, to captain, and finally chief in 2006. He's had a lot of experiences, and he's made a lot of memories along the way.

"Probably some of the best memories are when you actually help somebody and they just looked at you and said thank you," he smiled.

As he ties up loose ends, MacLean said he has mixed emotions about his departure.

"When I look back, did I make some sort of a difference? Did I make some sort of a difference in my community? Did I make some sort of difference in the department?  I hope I can answer yes to both of those, and I think that I can," he added.

MacLean said he is ready for a new chapter in his life, and starting a new job.

"It's been rewarding. It's been fun, and it's time to move on," he said.

MacLean's retirement takes effect Sept. 13. For the last four months, Allentown has been looking for a new top cop. The candidates have now been narrowed down to seven. The final group will be presented to the public so folks can question the candidates.

"The citizens of Allentown, I don't think, have to worry about their police department," MacLean explained. "I think the police department's in good shape."

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