Board Authorizes Contract for New Police Chief

Incoming Lower Pottsgrove Police Chief Rick Bell (at top right) talks Thursday with, from left, township police Sgt. Scott Weidenhammer, Lt. William James, and new police Ofc. Nick Dinnocenti

LOWER POTTSGROVE PA – A one-year starting employment agreement between Lower Pottsgrove and incoming township Police Chief Richard “Rick” Bell (at top), which Manager Ed Wagner said will initially pay him a salary of $125,000 and be renewable annually by consent of both parties, was authorized Thursday (Oct. 21, 2021) by the Board of Commissioners.

Bell attended the meeting, at which he was formally introduced and welcomed by the board. He also shook hands and talked with some township police officers, and witnessed the swearing-in of the force’s newest employee, Ofc. Nicholas Dinnocenti. Although Bell is scheduled to take his oath of office during the board’s Nov. 4 (Thursday) meeting, his official start date is Nov. 8 (Monday).

“I’m honored to come to you as chief,” Bell told commissioners, “and I’m eager to hit the ground running.” He thanked them and Wagner for the opportunity.

Bell succeeds former Chief Michael Foltz, who retired last fall, as the Lower Pottsgrove department‘s commander and spokesman. Acting Police Chief and department Lt. William James, who earlier this year told commissioners he would not pursue the chief’s position, is expected to return to his role as the department’s second-in-command.

About Chief Rick Bell

Bell since February 2017 has served as police chief in Frackville PA, a Schuylkill County borough with a population of about 3,800 located 65 miles northwest of Sanatoga. Locally, Frackville may be best known as the northernmost starting point of the 120-mile Schuylkill River Trail.

The borough website reports its police department employs several full- and part-time officers. Lower Pottsgrove’s department appears to be significantly larger than that of Frackville.

Before arriving in Frackville, according to his Linked-In profile, Bell worked for more than 18 years in the Kennett Square, Chester County, police department. He also served as a volunteer firefighter in two fire departments.

Bell holds a master’s of science degree in administration of justice from Wilmington University, is a graduate of both the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command Class, and the Pennsylvania Municipal Police Academy, and holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from Penn State. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association.

Photo by The Posts