The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

July 24, 2013

Spring Township Police Department dissolved

BEAVER SPRINGS — The one-man Spring Township Police Department led by Officer Ed Smith was dissolved by the township Board of Supervisors Tuesday night.

“We decided to disband the police department and are exploring other avenues to have police protection in addition to state police,” board chairman John Kauffman II said.

Contacted by phone Wednesday morning, Smith said he had not been informed of the decision.

"No one told me," he said, adding he wasn't surprised by it before ending the call.

Kauffman would not comment on the reason for the decision to eliminate the police force and remove Smith from the position he’s held for 20 years.

Last month, Smith admitted to The Daily Item that he had a prior criminal record dating back to the 1970s, but shrugged it off as irrelevant because of the passage of time.

Smith was charged in 1970 in Northumberland County with assault and battery and sentenced to a two- to 24-month county jail term.

He was charged again in 1979 with assaulting a police officer, also in Northumberland County. Under a plea agreement, an aggravated assault charge was dismissed and Smith pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and resisting arrest and received two years of probation.

Kauffman would not comment on Smith’s criminal history and referred further questions to township solicitor Robert Slivinski and Snyder County District Attorney Michael Piecuch. Neither was immediately available for comment.

Residents have complained for several years about Smith’s alleged intimidating and harassing behavior as police chief in this small western Snyder County town.

Smith, who denies the accusations, has served as a part-time police officer in Spring Township for 20 years and has been employed as a Capitol police officer in Harrisburg for 11 years.

In May, the township suspended the police department after problems arose with a security camera mounted on his patrol car. The equipment was installed about two years ago amid complaints against the part-time police chief.

 

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