Thorpe improves police department
New Jim Thorpe borough police officer John Pruitte is sworn in by Mayor Michael Sofranko as Chief Joseph Schatz looks on. CHRIS REBER/TIMES NEWS
Wednesday was law enforcement appreciation day and officials in Jim Thorpe decided to continue the appreciation during the regularly scheduled council meeting Thursday night.
Council and Mayor Michael Sofranko offered effusive praise to the officers of the Jim Thorpe Police Department.
Council also voted to hire a borough native as a full-time police officer. John Pruitte is a 2005 graduate of Jim Thorpe High School.
“He’s a resident of the borough and certainly has an interest in the welfare of the borough. We’re looking forward to the opportunity to have officer Pruitte working with our fine force,” said council President Gregg Strubinger.
Pruitte will be the department’s eighth full-time officer, including Chief Joseph Schatz.
He previously worked as a part-time officer in the borough before taking a full-time position in Kidder Township. He said he is looking forward to working in his hometown.
“To work where you live, and have that sense that you’re helping out the community, I think it will be good,” Pruitte said.
The addition of Pruitte to the force means that the borough will now have at least two officers on duty 20 hours out of the day.
The mayor and police chief both said it has been their goal to have two officers on duty round-the-clock, and this brings the department much closer to that becoming a reality.
“For a town the size of Jim Thorpe, the way that crime is, that is a huge investment that this borough has made in the Jim Thorpe police department,” Sofranko said.
Sofranko also offered thanks to Schatz, borough council and Borough Manager Maureen Sterner for supporting law enforcement, and the department as a whole.
He noted that Schatz and Sterner recently worked together to secure funding for a new cruiser for the police department.
“I can’t say enough about the two of them working together. It makes my job a lot easier when you have the funding,” Sofranko said.
Schatz said that the police department remains busy, but they don’t see spikes in crime.
“That’s through the efforts of every officer sitting over there that works in that police department. Hats off to them,” Schatz said.