Lehigh Valley

Police chief retiring after 46 years in law enforcement

SALISBURY TWP., Pa. - Salisbury Township Police Chief Allen Stiles is hanging up his badge after 46 years in law enforcement.

Stiles started in patrol for Bethlehem Township and later became the department's first detective.

He became police chief in Hellertown in 1985 before taking the top spot with Salisbury Township in 1994.

"It was a very interesting 25 years. It has gone very, very quickly for me," Stiles said.

But before his first anniversary Stiles would have to deal with Salisbury's most horrific crime to date, what has become known as the skinhead murders.

Brothers Bryan and David Freeman, along with their cousin, bludgeoned their parents and younger brother to death.

"It was horrific. The smell of of blood was pervasive throughout the house," Stiles said.

Stiles says the crime was so shocking that for the first time mental health experts were brought in to help officers deal with what they saw.

It was just one of the many innovations Stiles implemented over his years as chief.

"Training officers and getting equipment that they needed to use, getting the kind of vehicles that we needed to serve the public, starting all different types of programs," Stiles said.

Outreach programs like D.A.R.E. block watch, national night out, coffee with a cop and school resource officers.

Stiles is moving from chief to consultant, helping other departments hire and train the police officers of tomorrow.

"It's not just a job. It is a profession. It is a calling. It's something that you have to love to be able to do it," Stiles said.

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