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Northern Berks Regional Police department swears in a new chief

The Northern Berks Regional Police department has a new permanent chief.

On Monday night, the Northern Berks Regional Police Commission swore in James Keiser, who retired as captain with the Allentown Police Department.

Keiser, who has been serving as the Ontelaunee Township-based department’s interim chief since June, worked for more than 24 years for the Allentown department and received commendations for bravery and merit, according to a statement released by the commission.

Keiser’s resume, according to the commission:

He graduated in 1990 from Kutztown University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He completed the Allentown Police Academy and enhanced his practical experience having graduated from the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command in 2019, as well as executive leadership training with FBI-LEEDA and the Justice and Safety Institute at Penn State.

A further statement from the commission:

As interim chief of the 13-member department covering Maidencreek and Ontelaunee townships and Leesport, Keiser has implemented an exhaustive review of policies and hosted intensive training on emergency vehicle operations and pursuits that was attended by several officers from neighboring police departments this summer, according to the statement. He is also actively recruiting additional officers pursuant to the newly enacted police reform laws that govern police hiring.

Keiser replaces Brian Horner, who retired in May after four years as chief and 31 years with the department.

The department nearly dissolved amid bickering over legal costs incurred during Horner’s tenure and other matters.

“The Commission’s successful resolution of its budgetary and personnel challenges is a testament to civil discourse among public officials, which should be an example for all levels of government today,” the commissioner’s solicitor, Christopher Gerber, said in the statement.

Source: Berkshire mont

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