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Hellertown Police Officers Express "No Confidence" in Chief

Members of the Hellertown Police spoke publicly at Borough Council’s meeting this week to express a lack of confidence in interim Chief Dominick Fragano. Fragano was named interim Chief in late 2023 following the resignation and subsequent criminal charges filed against former Hellertown Chief Robert Shupp.


During the general business meeting “comments on non-agenda items”, three Hellertown police officers addressed Council. The statement made below is in its entirety:


“Good evening, my name is Officer John Donato. I am the current President for the Hellertown Police Association. This is Officer [Kevin] McCartney, the current Vice President and Detective [Mike] Dattilio, the current Treasurer. On January 16, 2024, the Hellertown Police Association took an official vote which resulted, unanimously, that the members of our organization have no confidence in interim Chief Dominick Fragano. The Hellertown Police Association is available for further discussion and details regarding this vote at Borough Council’s convenience and in executive session. Thank you.”


Council immediately moved to a closed executive session following the public comment and remained in executive session for close to thirty minutes.


Upon exiting executive session and resuming the general business meeting, Council made a motion to allow the Mayor to read a statement. Mayor David Heintzelman then read the following statement:


“We have complete confidence in Dominick Fragano, the individual appointed as interim Chief of police. We are currently conducting an assessment of the police department by an outside group called the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association. As part of this process, the Chiefs of Police Association have interviewed each and every officer. So, they will each have input into this study. The Chiefs of Police Association will make recommendations to which the Borough will act upon and enforce. This Council will listen to the experts and not self-serving officers with personal agendas. We expect officers to work with the department as a whole in good for the community for the Borough of Hellertown.”


Following the statement, no further discussion was made related to the ongoing assessment of the Borough’s police force or any other details surrounding who would be leading the department.


According to sources familiar with the situation, it appears staffing issues have forced the Hellertown Police Department to rely on outside support for Borough police coverage multiple times going back to December 2023. In addition, the Hellertown Police Association will be releasing a statement in rebuttal to Council’s declaration of support for the interim chief. 

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