KENNETT SQUARE >> William Holdsworth was sworn in as Kennett Square’s newest police chief April 3 in a unanimous vote by borough council. He succeeds Ed Zunino, who retired last year after many years of service.
“I believe Bill is capable and ready to grow the department, and to relaunch the department as he sees fit,” said Mayor Matt Fetick, who oversees the police department. “He has a great vision. As he takes the reins of the police department, it is with the full support of my office as well as borough council.”
Fetick said the search for a new chief involved 50 candidates, 15 of whom were interviewed in person.
“He got better and better in the process, showing more improvement and more commitment to the department, sharing his vision, his goals and what he believed community policing should look like in Kennett Square,” Fetick said. “It was clear that it was a unanimous vote among all council members to promote Bill Holdsworth. There was not a second guess at the end of the day.”
Councilman Wayne Braffman said Holdsworth will lead the department in the right direction.
“When we began this search, I said at the time it was the biggest decision we will make this decade, and it was critical that we get it right,” Braffman said. “We got it right. We got the process right, we got the interviews right and we got the final decision right.”
Carlos Navaro, who represents the borough’s Advisory Commission for Latino Affairs, said Holdsworth is well liked by Hispanics, who make up about half of the borough’s population.
“We are very delighted he is our new police chief,” Navaro said. “We respect this man. He is a man of integrity. The Hispanic community will work with him. He understands our (issues).”
Said Holdsworth: “I am very fortunate and honored to have been chosen to lead this talented group of officers. The department has incredible potential because of the dedication and commitment of these members. Nothing but good things to come.”
Holdsworth is a 1990 graduate of Unionville High School, and a 1995 graduate of the Municipal Police Academy. He owned his own landscaping company from 1992 to 2001. He was hired as a part-time officer in Kennett Square in 1997, and then full-time in 1998. He was promoted to captain in 2001, and in 2016 was promoted again to lieutenant. When Zunino retired, he was officer in charge of the department.
He married his wife, Debbie, in 2008 and they have four children.
In 2012, Holdsworth received a Certificate of Merit for apprehending a dangerous DUI suspect.
Holdsworth is active in helping the young generation form positive bonds with police. He spends time at the Garage Youth Center in Kennett Square, and also at Linden Street.
Holdsworth will inherit a department at full staff because three new full-time officers were sworn in just after him. They are Johnathan Ortiz, Evan Jackson and Alex Schwab.
New officers at Kennett Fire Co. No. 1 were also sworn in. They are Christopher Plumley, fire chief; Mark Plumley, deputy chief, Bruce Mitchell, assistant fire chief, and Steve Melton, battalion chief.