Chambersburg police chief announces retirement

Written by Vicky Taylor, Chambersburg Public Opinion | Dec 22, 2015 6:03 PM

Photo by Ryan Blackwell, Chambersburg Public Opinion

Chambersburg police chief David Arnold.

(Chambersburg) -- Police Chief David Arnold has announced that he will retire in about 2 1/2 weeks

His retirement will become effective on January 8, according to a news release he sent late Tuesday afternoon to Public Opinion.

Arnold has been chief in Chambersburg for seven years, coming to the community when former Chief Michael DeFrank retired in 2008.

He was a 24-year veteran of the York City Police Department at the time.

Shortly after receiving the retirement announcement from Arnold, Borough Manager Jeff Stonehill emailed Public Opinion, confirming Arnold's retirement.

"I applaud him for his service to the Borough of Chambersburg," Stonehill said. "During his time as Police Chief, the department has seen advancements, modernization, significant staff changes, training upgrades, and very few issues or controversies."

Arnold said he considers the Chambersburg Police Department to be one of the finest in Central Pennsylvania.

"It has been my honor to have worked for this organization," he said.

Stonehill concurs with Arnold's assessment of the department.

"We have one of the finest departments in South Central Pennsylvania and it stands as a tribute to (Arnold's) leadership," he said.

On Monday, January 4, Council will meet in executive session following it's reorganizational meeting and swearing in of new council members to discuss the selection of an interim police chief or chiefs, Stonehill said.

During that executive session, Stonehill said he and Mayor Darren Brown  will present their recommendations for a temporary management solution. Council will then accept Arnold's resignation formally and a temporary appointment will be made by Town Council in open session, Stonehill said.

The interim chief will take over effective January 9, he said.

Stonehill said the selection of a new permanent police chief, regardless of whether it is an internal candidate or someone from the region or state, will take weeks or months.

"There will be an interview committee selected by council, followed by testing, and  a series of interviews of potential candidates," he said.

He said council could hire a search consultant to help with the process.

He said that whatever the process, he is confident that under the continuing supervision of the mayor and the interim management, the Chambersburg Police Department will continue to function properly.

"I have complete confidence in our fine staff," he said.

Stonehill said council members and the mayor are aware of Arnold's decision and have wished him the best of luck in his retirement.

"In return he has pledged his commitment to assist the community in this transition," he said.

In his retirement announcement, Arnold mentioned a number of initiatives and programs that have been initiated during his tenure as police chief.

The department has participated in Crisis Intervention Team training and new domestic violence protocol, he said. Those initiatives include the "Lethality Assessment" program.

The department has initiated a "Take 30" program where officers walk 30 minutes during their tours of duty in the downtown and various neighborhoods of the borough.

Chambersburg sent its first officer to become a Drug Recognition Expert, in order to help officers county-wide with the rising number of DUI drivers who are under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

"We recently trained all officers in the use of a new less lethal system to help save lives of persons we deal with in violent situations," he said.

Downtown cameras were also installed during Arnold's tenure to improve safety for businesses, customers and residents in the downtown area.

That project was funded with a combination of grant money, local contributions and borough funding.

The cameras are due to be updated next year.

Arnold said he plans to stay in Chambersburg and is considering some work and volunteer opportunities.

This article comes to us through a partnership between the Chambersburg Public Opinion and WITF.

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