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She's Changing Careers, Not Job Descriptions

SANATOGA PA – Kathy Foltz made a big career change official on Monday (Jan. 5, 2009). She’s moving from being a protector and saver of lives to … being a protector and saver of lives.

Foltz, who in September 1995 became Lower Pottsgrove (PA) Township‘s first female police officer, will retire Jan. 20 (2009) after “serving honorably for more than 13 years,” according to Chief Michael Shade. From then on, instead of “Officer Foltz,” you can call her “Nurse Foltz.”

Foltz completed her nursing education while remaining on the force – no easy task, Shade notes – and has already accepted a job offer in her new field.

Foltz was honored in October 2007 as the department’s Officer of the Year, a title bestowed in an annual vote by her colleagues. She was the force’s certified instructor for first aid, cardio-pulmonary resusitation (CPR), and automated external defibrillators (AEDs). In 2006, Foltz and fellow township Ofc. Scott Weidenhammer were honored for putting their medical training to work in rescuing and saving the life of a heart attack victim.

The township Board of Commissioners formally accepted her departure Monday, during its first of two regular monthly meetings, “with regret but with our best wishes,” said Commissioner Jonathan Spadt.

Board members will have an opportunity to repeat that sentiment to Foltz in person at a future meeting. They voted unanimously to present her in coming weeks with an award of thanks for her service. “She will be missed,” Shade acknowledged.

Foltz’s retirement leaves the township force without a female officer, and also drops its complement from 17 officers to 16. Shade and the board moved quickly to fill the vacancy. Acting on the chief’s request, commissioners authorized him to begin the process to hire a new officer from those on the township’s current civil service list. “We’ve got several good candidates to choose from,” Shade said.

Board members, conscious of public sensitivity over allocations in the 2009 township budget and their accompanying imposition of a hiring freeze, took pains to point out that bringing on a new officer “was not considered a hire but a replacement.”

Related (to the Lower Pottsgrove Board of Commissioners’ Jan. 5 meeting):

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