Mayor of Lancaster announces candidate for interim police chief


LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — Lancaster Mayor Danene Sorace has made her pick for an interim chief for the Lancaster Bureau of Police.

John Bey John T. Bey, a chief master sergeant in the Air National Guard and a 25-year veteran of the Pennsylvania State Police, will be presented to city council at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

City council still needs to approve Bey as interim chief.

Ahead of Bey’s meeting with Lancaster City Council he spoke with ABC 27 News.

Bey said he is familiar with Lancaster because his first assignment upon graduation from the Pennsylvania Police Academy was to Troop J in Lancaster County.

“I have a handle on some of the issues that are going on,” Bey said. “I think my knowledge, skills, and abilities marry up very well with the Mayor’s plan to move the department forward.”

Bay said he is the right person to lead the Lancaster Bureau of Police.

He pointed to his past where he lead Heritage Affairs the the Pennsylvania State Police and he investigated hate crimes and racial bias throughout the state.

“I think that set me up for success in Lancaster with respect to the diverse community,” Bey said.

Bey, who also served two years as police chief in Middletown, is Sorace’s top pick to be the interim chief of the department.

Sorace said Jarrad Berkihiser, who retired last month, didn’t share her vision for moving the police department forward.

“I spent quite a bit of time with Chief Bay talking about things that happened this summer and some of the commitments that we made,” Sorace said. “He’s reviewed all of those commitments and we talked about how we’re going to move those commitments forward.”

Bey said the interim title would not stop him from making changes he sees necessary.

“I’m passionate about policing,” Bey said. “I’m passionate about being equitable and transparent in the discharge of the duties in not just the chief, but the entire police department. We want to look at practices, procedures, and policies.”

City Council will vote on Bey’s appointment at their regular meeting Tuesday night.

If approved Bey would start on December 7th.

Bey said if approved he would be interested in applying for the police chief roll full-time.


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