YARDLEY BOROUGH >> Joseph Harris IV will join the town’s police force in August as its fifth full-time officer.
At its July 16 meeting, borough council voted unanimously to hire Harris effective August 3 as a full-time probationary Officer. He was subsequently sworn in by Mayor Chris Harding as Chief Joseph Kelly and Sgt. Golden looked on.
“We had six very qualified candidates,” said Chief Kelly. “This was not an easy choice. They were all very qualified. Joe scored four points higher than the next highest candidate. He’s truly a local product.”
Harris joined the Lower Makefield Police Explorers in 2009; earned Scouting’s highest honor, the Eagle award, in 2010; and graduated from Pennsbury High School in 2011.
Following graduation, he joined the US Coast Guard Reserve and served until about three weeks ago when he was discharged as a petty officer 3rd Class.
Harris attended Kings College and Millersville University to study law enforcement and graduated from the Delaware County Police Academy in December 2015.
In January 2016, he was hired as a part-time Yardley Borough Police Officer and in March joined the Bristol Borough Police Department as a part-time officer.
“Joe has done a lot of things for us,” said Chief Kelly. “He was our 2019 Go the Extra Mile award winner. He’s done policy formation. He’s led Scout tours. He authored and delivered a social media safety program at Abrams Hebrew Academy. And he has been a volunteer on the Tour of Honor escorting veterans to the Delaware line.
“Joe is a constant fixture around the police department,” said Chief Kelly. “And we’re happy to have him.”
The hiring brings the department’s full time complement up to five. “We haven’t been at five since 1986,” said Kelly.
“There’s no doubt this hiring is the vision of Chief Kelly and it is the proper vision of Chief Kelly,” said Mayor Harding. “This is where the should and needed to go.
“And we were honored to have so many Yardley Borough officers in contention for this. That’s reflective of Chief Kelly, but also Sgt. Golden, Officers Clark and Gillock.”
Councilwoman Sandi Brady said it “speaks volumes” to the character of the officers serving in the department “to see them here today supporting each other. Great job everybody,” she said.