After years as part of a regional police force, Upper Macungie is ready to launch its new 28-member police force.
The department, which will be located at 37 Grim Road, will go into service at 6 p.m. Dec. 31. Until then, the township continues to be served by the Berks-Lehigh Regional Police.
"We're ready, eager and anxious to get started, I've got to tell you," said Upper Macungie's new Police Chief Edgardo A. Colón this week.
"We started [the department] from scratch and built it all the way from there," said Colón. "It's been a daunting task. It's been exciting, stressful and rewarding."
The new officers, many of whom served with Berks-Lehigh Regional police, are properly certified and trained, the chief said. The department will be seeking accreditation, a process that could take 18 months.
Here's what to know:
* Three detectives will be assigned to the crime unit.
* Patrol will be divided into three units -- traffic, general patrol and canine.
The traffic division will handle safety enforcement, truck enforcement, serious and fatal crashes and the like.
General patrol will serve four geographic zones in the township designated by traffic and population.
The department will have two canine units.
* Two motorcycle units will be in operation in warmer months.
* There also will be special enforcement details, such as for DUI enforcement.
The new police uniform patch will signify that Upper Macungie police officers are "Committed to Serve."
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Colón said the police files on Upper Macungie cases will be transferred over to the new department from the Berks-Lehigh Regional police department. He said the new department also is in the process of transferring over "evidence" in cases, making sure to maintain the chain of custody and proper storage.
Two swearing-in ceremonies for new officers will be held on Dec. 28, at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., at the township municipal building. A promotion ceremony also will be held following the 4 p.m. swearing-in. The public is invited.
The new police building and department will be dedicated Jan. 15.