Lehigh Valley

Retired Whitehall chief one of four finalists to become Allentown's new police chief

All four will meet the public Oct. 3

ALLENTOWN, PA. - Theodore Kohuth, retired Whitehall Township police chief, is one of four finalists to become the new police chief in Allentown.

Kohuth, who also is a retired captain with Pennsylvania State Police,  is the only Pennsylvania candidate among the four finalists announced by the city Friday.

The other finalists are:

* Joel Fitzgerald, Sr., police chief  in Missouri City, TX. He is a former lieutenant in the Philadelphia Police Department

* Charles Rapp, executive director of Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commissions. He is a former captain in the Baltimore County Police Department in Maryland.

* Ronald Walsh, deputy inspector in the Nassau County Police Department in New York.

All  four candidates will meet the public at a town hall meeting 7-9 p.m. October 3  in the auditorium of Sacred Heart Hospital.

The top seven candidates for chief recently were interviewed by a panel of representatives from a cross section of the community. They narrowed the list to a  four. They will appear at the town hall meeting prior to interviewing with Mayor Ed Pawlowski and before any nominee is forwarded to city council.

The town hall meeting will be facilitated by Strategic Policy Partnership Chairman l Robert Wasserman and Kutztown University Professor Dr. Gary Cordner.

Each of the candidates will be given 10-to-15 minutes to make a presentation at the town hall meeting. Following a brief recess, they will be asked to respond to written questions submitted by members of the audience.

Pawlowski said, "This is an excellent opportunity for the residents of the city to listen to the candidates and get a feel for the type of leadership they will bring to Allentown. I look forward to hearing the presentations and listening to their answers."

Free parking for those attending the meeting will be available at both the Fifth Street and Chew Street garages adjacent to the hospital.

The city advertised the available position in July.

Chief Roger MacLean retired this month. He and interim Chief Joe Hanna are among a group of senior officers who participated in a one-time Deferred Retirement Option Plan, or DROP enhancement for veteran officers that was included in the police contract that took effect in January 2009. Those officers in the DROP must retire this December.

Kohuth retired as Whitehall chief in May 2011. He was chief in Whitehall for eight years, preceded by 25 years with the state police.

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