Caernarvon Township Berks Police Chief resigns

Record photo by Nathan Muller Caernarvon Township Berks meeting room filling up May 13.

Police Chief Paul Stolz Jr. submitted his resignation minutes before the Caernarvon Township Berks Board of Supervisors’ meeting May 13.

Against the wishes of the majority of Caernarvon Township Berks residents, Stolz’s contract was under review.

The meeting room was packed with residents who came out to support Stolz. In fact, a handful of people were standing in the doorway because they could not find a seat.

The meeting began with a short executive session, after which Allen Styer III, Vice Chairman, broke the silence by starting the vote to accept the Police Chief’s resignation.

Styer then opened up the floor for questions from the community. Lenny Smith began by stating, “I am really disappointed. We just lost a good person.”

Lenny then asked about “rumors going around about his replacement already.” Styer reassured that Smith’s statement was just a rumor and that the Board “has no idea who the new Police Chief will be.”

Next, former Supervisor Lou Gable stated that “whoever picks up Paul-- It’s their gain and our loss.”

Gordon Donaldson asked the Board why Stolz resigned. Styer quickly replied that they cannot elaborate.

Michael Stevens said he “knows petitions with hundreds of signatures are out there [supporting Paul Stolz Jr.]. Is this a voluntary resignation?” Styer responded, “Yes.”

Styer said they will begin looking for a new Police Chief immediately and will post a job listing internally within the PA and County Police Department and also in a local newspaper.

After asking if there were any further questions, the Board moved on to other news.

The room quickly emptied as many of the supporters for the Police Chief did not stick around for the rest of the meeting.

After the meeting Styer said that there are “no hard feelings between the Police Chief and the Board of Supervisors. When asked about the scenario that caused the resignation, the board would not comment.

Another issue addressed at this meeting was the current vandalism at John Burdy Memorial Park. Randy Miller, Administrative Secretary at Caernarvon Township Berks, said that graffiti has been the main problem.

Miller said that the township “installed cameras, but the cameras can’t zoom in to give a facial shot. We are looking to upgrade one camera to be able to zoom in.”

He also said that the Police have an “estimated time of occurrence and possible culprits.” He said that no proof has been presented, and that they are still hoping for tips to catch the offenders.

Michelle Raymond, the coordinator for Neighborhood Watch for Penn Wood and Mill Stream, said that “development is underway,” but “with personnel issues [the Neighborhood Watch] has been stagnated.”

Miller then said that the Board is “still in the process of setting up a Neighborhood Watch.” The Board hopes that the “combination of Neighborhood Watch and the upgraded camera will solve the problem.”