Four new City of Allentown police officers were sworn-in this morning and received their department badges during a ceremony in City Council chambers.
Mayor Ed Pawlowski and Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald presided as officers Zachary Bubnis, Roderick Devine, Preet Bajwa and Theodore Kiskeravage took the oath of office and received their department badges.
The department now consists of 211 officers. More hirings are anticipated in the near future. Just eight years ago retirements had reduced available manpower to 160 officers.
Pawlowski said, “I am always impressed by the day to day dedication of the men and women of the Allentown police department. They perform their jobs under difficult and stressful circumstances. The December execution of two New York City police officers reminds us that we live in a world where the unthinkable does happen, but we are able to sleep easier knowing that police officers are on the job willing to risk their lives to protect us from harm. It is extremely important that we acknowledge their performance at opportunities like these.”
“I'm excited for our new officers, as this is a great time for them to join our ranks,” said Chief Fitzgerald. “We (APD) worked very hard last year to get to this point. We used an "all hands on deck" approach to facilitate lengthy background investigations, because we understood the importance of getting it right. The hiring pace has been appropriate, and is too important to our success as an organization to allow any facets of hiring exceed our ability to shape good public servants for the City of Allentown.”
Officer Bubnis is a 2013 graduate of the Montgomery County Police Training Academy.
Officer Devine holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Kutztown University. He is Act 120 Certified through the Maryland Police Training Commission.
Officer Bajwa holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Guru Nanak Dev University in India. He is Act 120 Certified through the Maryland Police Training Commission.
Officer Kiskeravage attended Lehigh Carbon Community College. He is a 2012 graduate of the Allentown Police Academy.