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Pawlowski Announces APD Retirements & Promotions

Pawlowski Announces APD Retirements & Promotions
Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski today announced the retirement of Police Chief Roger MacLean and the promotion of Assistant Chief Joe Hanna to interim police chief. The announcement was made at a news conference held in City Council Chambers and included the announcement of the promotion of the city’s first Latino assistant police chief and first female police captain.

MacLean is spending his last day in the office today. His retirement is effective on September 13.

MacLean joined the department as a police cadet in 1972 and became an officer in 1974. Before being named chief by Pawlowski in 2006, MacLean had served in command positions in the patrol and investigative divisions and had served as acting chief from December 2001 to April 2002.

Chief MacLean holds an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Lehigh County Community College, a Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from DeSales University.

“I will always be grateful to Roger for his leadership of the department,” said Pawlowski. “He saw the city through very difficult times after massive retirements in 2006. Since that time the city’s crime rate has dropped considerably. Management of any organization of the department’s size is a challenge, but Roger handled it extremely well.”

MacLean said, “I have thoroughly enjoyed my career in the Allentown Police Department. I want to thank Mayor Pawlowski for the confidence he bestowed in me by giving me this command. I am privileged to have led such a fine group of officers. I want to wish all of them the best.”

Hanna joined the department in 1979. He joined the Criminal Investigations Division as a sergeant in 1988. As a lieutenant, he headed the Community Police/Crime Prevention Unit from 1997-2002 when he also briefly headed the Special Operations Group. In September 2002 he was promoted to Captain in the Patrol Division and was commander of Police Service Area III. In March 2005 Hanna served as Captain of the Vice and Intelligence Division and then assumed the added responsibility of Captain of the Criminal Investigations Division. He was promoted to Assistant Chief of Police-Operations in January 2006.

Hanna earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Moravian College. He holds a Certificate of Completion from the US Department of Justice FBI National Academy and has completed advanced police studies at Northwestern University Center for Public Safety.

“Joe is certainly well-prepared to lead this department over the next few months,” said Pawlowski. “He has filled-in very capably in Roger’s absence. I have had regular meetings with Joe as a member of the command staff over the last seven plus years. He has a firm grasp of the day to day operations of the department. I am confident that we won’t miss a beat.”

Hanna thanked the mayor for his confidence in affording him the opportunity to serve as Chief of Police. “It is a privilege and honor to lead this department and to help facilitate the transition of the future police chief.” Hanna lauded the leadership of his colleague, Chief Roger MacLean for his steadfast commitment to the police department and the citizens of Allentown. He acknowledged a rewarding 34 year career and proudly recognized the men and women of the Allentown Police Department as some of the” finest law enforcement professionals in the nation.” Throughout his career, Hanna said he has always tried to emulate his deceased uncle, Assistant Chief Charles “Chink” Charles who served with the Allentown Police Department with distinction for 34 years. “He always instilled in me what a virtuous honor it is to be a public servant.”

The city is conducting a search for its next permanent police chief. The police contract that took effect in January 2009 included a one-time Deferred Retirement Option Plan, or DROP enhancement for veteran officers. This allowed the city to keep its most experienced police officers and command staff through the end of this year. That group includes Chief MacLean, Chief Hanna, Assistant Chief Dan Warg and two of the city’s most experienced captains.

Pawlowski also announced the promotions of Captain Jorge Medero to Assistant Chief-Operations and Gail Struss to captain.

Medero joined the department in July 1989 after working as an Animal Health Technician in Alpo’s Research Center. He was promoted to sergeant and transferred from Vice and Intelligence to the Criminal Investigation Division in 1999 where he has been ever since. Medero was promoted to lieutenant in 2006 and was promoted to captain and head of CID in 2010.

Struss joined the department in February 1997. Struss was a uniformed patrol officer until April 1999 when she was assigned to the Vice and Intelligence Unit. She served as a detective in the Juvenile Bureau in 2004 and served as a School Resource Officer from 2005 until 2011. In January 2011 she was promoted to sergeant in charge of the Juvenile Division.

Struss holds an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Lehigh County Community College and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Shippensburg University.

“It is with a great deal of pride that I announce the promotion of the first Latino assistant chief of police and the first female police captain in the long history of the Allentown Police Department,” said Pawlowski. “Allentown is a very diverse city and we need to reflect that diversity in our city government. Jorge and Gail are excellent officers who have earned their stripes and can be counted-on to meet their new responsibilities.”

With the promotion of Assistant Chief Medero, Captain Keith Morris is being transferred from command of PSA2 to head of CID.

Morris joined the department in 1997. Morris was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in May 2007. He accepted the position of Assistant Hostage Negotiation Team Commander in December 2007. Morris assumed command of the Youth Division in December 2007. He was promoted to captain in January 2011 and graduated this spring from the US Department of Justice FBI National Academy.

Pawlowski also announced that Lieutenant William Reinik and Sergeant Tony Alsleben will be promoted to captain upon the retirements of Captain Daryl Hendricks and Captain Dean Schwartz. Reinik and Alsleben will shadow Hendricks and Schwartz over the next four months. Hendricks and Schwartz are among the officers in the DROP who must retire before the end of the year.

Reinik joined the department as a patrolman in 1993. He later served as a Neighborhood Community Police Officer and Quality of Life/Special Operations Group Officer. He was named Assistant Director of Training at the Allentown Police Academy in 2003. He was promoted to 4th Platoon Lieutenant in 2012.

Reinik served as a sergeant in the US Marine Corps.

Alsleben joined the department in 2000. Alsleben was transferred to the Police Academy in December 2007. He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in December 2008 at which time he accepted the position of department Quartermaster. Alsleben assumed command of the Allentown Police Academy in September 2012.

Alsleben holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Administration of Justice from Penn State University.

Pawlowski also announced that Sergeant Stephen Vangelo will be promoted to lieutenant and will assume Reinik’s position at the head of the 4th Platoon.

Vangelo joined the department as a patrolman in July 1997. He serves as Tactical Team Commander of the Emergency Response Team. Vangelo served as Sergeant of the 4th Platoon and is currently Sergeant of the Vice and Intelligence Unit.

Vangelo holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Law and Justice from Trenton State College.

Pawlowski said, “We have been planning for this day for more than four years. Now it is upon us. The promotions we announce today set the stage for the future of the Allentown Police Department. Chief Hanna and his eventual successor will be well served by this group of leaders. The Allentown Police Department is in good hands for years to come.” 

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