The following article is an expressed opinion of the writer, constructed with and containing factual information available from Public Information sources in accordance with all applicable local, state, and federal laws.
Recently, Lower Frederick Township settled an employment related issue with former police officer Marc Messenger, settling for an undisclosed amount out of court. As the result of this public announcement, many local residents and readers of The Patch took to the "Net" and expressed a mixed batch of feelings, some of them supporting the settlement and release of Messenger while others alleged foul play and lack of confidence in police leadership.
Based upon information obtained which is available and open to the public, I was able to learn that no tax rate adjustments will be needed as a result of the settlement with Messenger, as it is covered entirely by insurance policies used for such a circumstance. The suit was settled out of court, being that it was less costly to do so than to face a lengthy court battle which surely would have caused a large amount of tax monies to be lost by the township. One could deduce from this information that this surely was the most cost-effective and appropriate move that the township could make for all involved parties.
Additionally, some concerned residents also made comment in regards to background investigations and hiring practices for the police department. After a short search, it was found that former Chief of Police Ed Kroll actually hired Messenger, not current Chief Paul Maxey, and based upon available information there was barely, if any, routine background examination performed. This action came well before Maxey put industry-standard requirements into place for future hires.
For example, Lower Frederick PD recently hired retired PSP Lt. David Buckley, who went thru an extensive background examination, despite his 20 plus years as an experienced State Trooper, investigator, station commander, and US Marine. Officer Buckley brings irreplaceable and nearly unmatchable experience and knowledge to the small-town department and was an excellent addition to the squad.
Not only did Buckley go thru a rigorous background investigation, but so did Chief Maxey himself; and not just once but twice. He was subjected to an extensive interview, background check and hiring process before being selected as chief. Then, shortly after being hired by Lower Frederick PD, Maxey was chosen to attend the prestigious Federal Bureau of Investigation Academy for Police Chiefs and Department Leaders, a special certification reserved for only the best of the best in the police industry. The FBI conducts some of, if not the most extensive and deepest reaching background investigations in the country, and select only the top candidates after careful review.
As a Pennsylvania State Constable who primarily serves in the Perkiomen Valley region, I have had the opportunity on countless times to interact with Lower Frederick Township Police. Officers within the current department have 50 years plus of combined police experience between the three of them, and their skill sets and knowledge are second to none, particularly when considering the size of the agency. I have always known each officer to be courteous and respectful in addition to always willing to aid other agencies and the public at large. I personally have been involved in and witnessed a multitude of arrests within the township that many other police agencies would have simply "passed the buck on" instead of handling. Even with their limited personnel size, they continue to make impactful investigations and arrests and are many times able to be proactive in the community rather than reactive. I could easily cite multiple examples; the Sex Offender wanted out of Minnesota who was found working illegally in the township (http://perkiomenvalley.patch.com/articles/police-report-man-arrested-on-out-of-state-warrant), the Schwenksville man discovered with drugs, paraphanalia and large amount of cash after a traffic-related incident (http://perkiomenvalley.patch.com/articles/lower-frederick-police-seize-cash-drug-paraphernalia-during-car-search), and so on and so forth.
In today's times of economic turmoil and moral and ethical degradation, the community of Lower Frederick should be rallying around those who serve their Public Safety needs rather than chastising them publicly with baseless accusations and slanderous remarks. I have always known Chief Maxey's door to be open to anyone, resident or not, who has any kind of concern regarding the township, its officers, or any safety concern or legal issue. Perhaps those who are quick to make incorrect assumptions and broadcast false accusations should first attempt to remedy their concerns rather than smear a good police chief and police agency on a public forum.