Most Gilberton residents approached by the AP this week declined to speak on the record.
But some, like Bill Yohn, said it's hard to reconcile the lawman they know with the profane, provocative figure on the videos.
"If I had a problem, he was quick to come," Yohn said. "He was completely different from how he appeared on the videos. It was like night and day."
Kessler, who is married with four children and two grandchildren, acknowledged how the videos portray him.
"I kind of look scary," he said. "I've been labeled the scariest police chief in the country."