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Letter to the Editor: Upper Nazareth Police Forge Good Relations

In the midst of police department merge and regionalization talks -- which, on occasion, have been heated -- an Upper Nazareth resident offers praise for a local officer.

Dear Editor:

My wife and I had an interaction with the Upper Nazareth Police Department [Saturday] that I want to share with your readers. Like most everyone else in the area, I’ve been reading the papers about the police situation in Nazareth Borough and the potential merging of their force with ours in Upper Nazareth. There's been a lot of negative comments made about the whole situation and the local police officers themselves, but what I've read doesn't jibe with what I've experienced.

We've had the opportunity to speak with the Upper Nazareth Police a handful of times and in one, the officers were friendly, professional and went out of their way to help. The Upper Nazareth officers perform their job exactly the way I remember the Nazareth Borough police doing it when I was growing up in Lower Nazareth and they covered our township. I remember the officers patrolling our neighborhood and stopping to talk with each neighbor they saw. Earl Keller knew my dad well and they always shared a laugh and some fun stories.

Getting back to what happened today, it all started with a locked cell phone and a 1-year-old. My son somehow bypassed the lock and managed to call the emergency number. Seeing it happen, my wife grabbed the phone and thought she hung up before they answered. It turned out that she didn't and we received a call from the control center about 10-20 seconds later. My wife quickly explained what happened and the operator said not to worry about it, but noted that police may still show up, because they had already been dispatched.

She hung up the phone and the doorbell rang. It was an Upper Nazareth officer and he arrived within an amazing 30-40 second response time. I wish I had gotten his name, because he was fantastic. He verified everything was OK and when he saw my 3-year-old daughter was a little scared, he talked to her to try and make her feel better. Then, he invited her to come take a look at his police car. We all walked down to the cruiser and he offered to let her jump in the front seat and look around. Before he left, the officer talked to her a little more and did his best to make sure she wasn't afraid of police.

While the situation was embarrassing at the start, it ended in a great way. It's nice to know that as time passes and the Nazareth area rolls with the punches of "modern progress," some things stay the same. There's no substitute for the personal relationships forged between a local police force and a small township... or borough.

-Ben Miller
Resident, Upper Nazareth Township 

Wayne October 16, 2012 at 01:40 PM
GREAT Job to the Officer involved, whoever you are. And a Thank you to Mr. Miller for taking the time to share this positive story :)
Eric Harding October 16, 2012 at 02:42 PM
And this is why I am FOR the Nazareth area police departments to merge and become a Nazareth Regional police department. I think with the forces of the Boro, Bushkill, Tatamy, Stockertown, and Upper Nazareth (and maybe more) coming together to form one will keep our "small town" feel and our town and townships safe.
Ben Miller October 16, 2012 at 08:50 PM
It was my pleasure, Wayne. Our community is lucky to have such great local police and volunteer fire departments. Small town America seems to be a philosophy that is lost on so many other areas of the country, but it's alive and well, here in the Nazareth area.
Rosanna Gentile October 19, 2012 at 05:35 AM
That police officer was my wonderful husband!! -Mrs. Rose Gentile
Ben Miller October 19, 2012 at 06:41 AM
Rose, Please share this letter with him. I also sent a copy to the department. Your husband is a fine officer and a great asset to the Upper Nazareth community. Ben

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