Allentown Mayor Ray O'Connell has named Glenn Granitz Jr. as the city's new interim police chief.
O'Connell announced the decision in City Council chambers Wednesday morning to a cheering room of council members, police captains, city officials and community leaders.
"I'm humbled and I'm awed by the support for the Allentown Police Department, for the support of the relationships that we're building in the community, and by the support inside of the department," Granitz said during the news conference.
He becomes the city's fifth police chief in four years.
Granitz, who lives in Allentown, was born and raised in the city and graduated from Allentown Central Catholic High School.
He has risen through the ranks of the Allentown Police Department over the last 18 years.
According to the city's website, he was hired by the department in November 2001 and graduated from the Allentown Police Academy in May 2002. He started working on patrol before making Criminal Investigations Division Detective in 2005.
Three years later, Granitz was selected to join the Lehigh County Homicide Task Force. He was promoted to a detective/sergeant in the CID in 2010. In 2013, Granitz was chosen to lead APD's Youth and Community Services Division. He was promoted to lieutenant in May 2016.
A little more than a year later, Granitz was promoted to serve as captain for Police Service Area IV, which is located in Center City.
As captain, he worked with multiple community groups, including 8th Ward, 10th Ward, Jordan Heights, Old Allentown, and the Promise Neighborhood. He was also the Allentown Police Department's representative for both Upside Allentown and the Hamilton Main Street Program.
Granitz is the second police chief pick O'Connell has made since being appointed interim mayor in March 2018. Interim Chief Tony Alsleben, who was appointed in April 2018, officially resigned last Friday.
O'Connell nominated Alsleben to the permanent position in August and was planning to bring him in front of council for a vote on September 16. However, sources told WFMZ's Josh Rultenberg six of the seven members would have voted against him, with City Council President Roger MacLean being the only yes vote.
Alsleben said in a previous statement he withdrew his name from consideration.
"Over the last several weeks, my nomination for confirmation, whether it be for political or personal reasons, has become the source of much contention," Alsleben said.
He said the contention was a distraction at a time when the city needed to be united and the department to remain focused on its mission. "My hope is that residents, city council and the administration will continue to work together to move our great city forward," he said.
City councilman Courtney Robinson praised O'Connell's decision to promote Granitz.
"I think that Captain Granitz embodies all the skills and the best of not just the Allentown Police Department but Allentown in general and I think he will be a great chief for our police department and I support him wholeheartedly," he said.
O'Connell said he would nominate Granitz, who was promoted from captain, for the permanent chief position at a later date. City code says a person can only serve in an interim role for 90 days before prompting a vote from council. It was amended from 60 days after Alsleben, who lives in Macungie, surpassed the mark without a clear explanation from city officials.