Weissport residents approve hiring of new police officer
Gail Maholick/TIMES NEWS Weisport Mayor Jonathan Troutman, left, swears in Steven Armbruster as the new police officer for Weissport.
A round of applause greeted the announcement of the new Weissport Borough police officer.
Steven Armbruster of Towamensing Township was sworn in on Monday by Mayor Jonathan Troutman.
Armbruster will work between 15 to 20 hours a week for the Borough of Weissport.
Armbruster said that he is familiar to the area since he has family in Lehighton and Jim Thorpe. He grew up in Northampton and graduated from Northampton High School. He was a military police officer in the U.S. Army and attended the Police Academy. He worked at Kutztown University for 20 years and is retired from that position. He is also a part time officer for the Lehigh County Sheriff's Department. He also is a graduate of the Sheriffs Academy, where he recently graduated with honors.
"I plan to focus on protecting the citizens of Weissport and their property and their constitutional rights," said Armbruster. "I plan to be proactive and prevent crime before it happens,"
Armbruster also has a goal of starting a program to prevent domestic violence.
"I know there are budget concerns," he said. He said that in the long run preventing domestic violence will lower costs.
"I want to stop the cycle of violence," he said. "Stopping violence protects the family," he said. "It saves money when you don't have to prosecute."
He plans to work with the local clergy and caring networks of persons interested in his goal.
"I've taken a 60-hour class in domestic violence," he said. "Domestic violence and alcoholism work hand in hand to hurt families. I would like to put a community program in place that addresses the issues."
Armbruster said that he is really excited about becoming Weissport's police officer.
"I think this is a great job and I am excited to be serving the people of Weissport," he added. "I am looking forward to it."
Armbruster is married to Tara, and they have two children, Madison, who is a student at Towamensing Elementary School; and Sam, who is a student at Palmerton Junior High.
Weissport Council also tentatively adopted the budget, which will have final adoption on Dec. 17, with no tax increase.
The budget has total anticipated revenues of $150,897, which includes $35,852 for solid waste; $2,750, council; mayor, $770; audit fees, $2,100; $4,300, tax collections; $4,000, legal fees; $6,400, secretary/treasurer expenses, $6,400; miscellaneous, $200; engineering, $2,190; municipal building, $7,210; police protection, $21,368; fire and public safety, $4,978; public safety, $2,500; $20,000, public works; street lights, $8,736; debt service, $6,528; recreation, $850; donations, $565; levy maintenance, $1,365; employer expense, $2,891; insurance, $8,480; state aid, $8,766.
The board also decided on version two to make street repairs to White Street. Instead of repaving White Street at a cost of $100,000, borough council voted to tar and chip the area from Forge to the end of White Street at a cost of $17,233.