Lower Pottsgrove Board, Police Force Battled Coronavirus
SANATOGA PA – Although coronavirus has afflicted members of Lower Pottsgrove’s publicly elected leadership and, earlier, its police force, township government not only functioned as expected during recent weeks but fared well under adverse conditions, members of the Board of Commissioners agreed during their meeting Monday night (Jan. 4, 2021).
Two commissioners who acknowledged they had battled COVID-19, Bruce Foltz and Ray Lopez, both attended the board session held on the Zoom conferencing platform. So did acting Police Chief William James, who said he also had been exposed.
James was praised by commissioners for effectively leading the department during his quarantine, and dealing with a virus-plagued manpower shortage. Several police officers were either exposed or exhibited virus symptoms, the chief reported, and said at one point only “six officers held the department together” on its patrol shifts.
They were occasionally supplemented by mutual aid from departments in neighboring municipalities, “but we didn’t miss a beat,” the chief added. All shifts got covered, with James himself taking to a patrol car on Christmas Eve. The department is now back to full strength, he noted.
Lopez earned the thanks of his colleagues and township Manager Ed Wagner as well. Despite his illness, they said, the commissioner and township emergency management coordinator made calls and arrangements to obtain personal protective equipment needed by Lower Pottsgrove emergency service workers.