Jeremy Melber, chairman of the Jim Thorpe Borough Council police committee, recommended Joseph Schatz to become the new chief of police when the current chief retires later this year.

"We all know that our police chief has set his retirement date," Melber said. "The police committee has been meeting to determine what we want to do about naming a new police chief."

Melber said that the committee consulted solicitor Tom Nanovic and has come up with a couple options.

"What we would like to do is recommend a name to borough council," Melber said. "I'd like to recommend someone who works tirelessly for our borough, all hours of the night. He's there when he's called upon; he's respected among his peers both in our department and in other departments. I've spoken to other people in the district attorney's office, the attorney general's office and in many other police departments and this person comes highly recommended.

"Tonight, it is my honor to send the name of Joseph Schatz to the Civil Service board for a non-competitive exam to be named as the new chief of police," he said.

"I'll second that happily," responded council member Justin Yaich.

The motion was approved.

After the meeting, Melber said that he felt the public would be very happy with the council's decision.

"Of my four years on borough council, the last two of which I have served as head of the police department, I have had the opportunity to work closely with Joe, and I've seen the respect that other officers have for him. He has been a tremendous asset to our department. I meant it when I said it was truly an honor for me to recommend him. I know he will lead our department into the future."

"I have worked with Joe over the past four years and found him to be a dedicated professional who has earned the respect of his peers as well as the public," Yaich agreed. "He is beyond any doubt, the best candidate for the position. I believe the police committee, chaired by councilman Melber, has made a sound recommendation."

In other police-related council news, Melber told the council that the committee had advertised a new ordinance that would amend the borough's current police pension ordinance and provide for an early retirement at 20 years of service.

That motion was made and approved by the council.