Editor:This letter is in response to an article in the Oxford Tribune, April 24-30, 2008, regarding "A Riff between Oxford Council and Police Department (Page 4A).
After reading this article that the Police Chief, John Slauch, the Oxford Borough Council and the Mayor Geoff Henry need to honor the requests of the Oxford Borough Police force as a unit. They (each office) have reasons for wanting to speak regarding the hiring of Phillip Hosteller.
On the first attempt the Mayor, Geoff Henry, should have rescheduled the meeting or postponed the swearing in of Officer Hostettler because when one individual or a group comes to the top of the chain of command regarding an issue, it should not go unnoticed.
The second attempt with Mayor Henry should have been acknowledged and not got unrecognized either, because the hiring of Officer Hosteller was a concern the Oxford officers wanted addressed.
The meeting on April 21, 2008, again the Oxford Borough Council and Mayor Henry should have heard the Oxford officers before the swearing in of the new Officer Hosteller. They way this was done does not look professional.
My concern is that the issue was not handled professionally.
1. The Oxford Officers should have been able to express their concerns, because they are the individuals who will work with Officer Hosteller. The chief also needs to listen to his present officers because they are his eyes and ears in the community, not to be unprofessional, but again if there are concerns that need to be addressed, then do it first.
2. The Oxford Officers were present at the Borough Council meeting on April 21, 2008 then why where they kept outside in the hallway? The officers have a right to express their concerns to the public. My concern is that the proper communication channels were not taken by the Borough Council or the Mayor in this situation.
3. If the swearing in of Officer Hosteller was to take place on Tuesday, April 21, 2008, then it should have been on the agenda because that is proper protocol when anything is being presented by Borough Council so the community knows in advance. So if an individual has concerns or want to praise the issue/concern they can do so.
4. Mr. Hosteller should not have been in full uniform, carrying a firearm and wearing a badge before the swearing in, this I see as an impersonation of a police officer and YES this is a violation of Pennsylvania State laws.
Again on review of the article, I feel that if Chief Slauch wanted to give his cousin, Phillip Hosteller, a position in the Oxford Police Department on a part-time basis, knowing that Mr. Hosteller is a new "Rookie" from the police academy, then no position until Mr. Hosteller addresses the Civil Service Test not being passed.
Also, if Mr. Hosteller did not obtain the MPOETC certification yet then again no position until it's obtained and showed to the proper authority.
As a resident of Oxford Borough, I will not feel safe and protected with an individual without this background. I am not saying any position ever, but ask Mr. Hosteller to complete the proper paperwork first and then swear him in.
I believe in giving individuals an opportunity if they demonstrate their ability to do the proper and professional protocol from the beginning of a new career. Mr. Hosteller may just need a little support and encouragement from the other officers in Oxford to be able to achieve this goal.
So please reconsider Mr. Hosteller as being an officer until the proper paperwork is completed.
In closing, I would like you to consider the way this situation was handled and to figure out a way to make Oxford a better place to live and want to raise your family and additional generations to come.
The Borough Council and the Oxford Police have more important things to achieve as a whole so let's put on our happy faces and work together to make Oxford a town that people will be proud of, not unhappy with.
Thank you for your time