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Cops, Courts & Fire -Bristol Borough

In a Moment of Loss, Borough Resident Thanks Police Officer for his ‘Compassion’

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In a time of grief, a Bristol Borough resident reached out to the Police Department to share his thanks for how a  police officer took great care in helping him and his family after his mother passed away earlier this month.

The hand -written letter, passed on to the police department, spoke volumes about parts of the job often not talked about or shared in public. In this case, a son’s gratitude about Sergeant Alan Hankinson’s professionalism when responding to a family member’s death was the motivation for sharing the note,

The letter, read aloud by now Chief of Police Joe Moors that  Monday night, was penned by Kevin McCarthy, of Bristol.

I thought it  would appropriate to read the missive aloud so the public and our new officers could hear it, Moors made a point of saying.

It reads:

With all the hate and negative news police officers receive, I would like to personally thank one. On Friday, February 4, my Mom passed away at home and Sgt Hankinson responded to the call. When he arrived, he showed nothing, but complete compassion to myself and my mother. He went above and beyond, to call the funeral home and her family physician to notify them of her passing. He showed kindness and empathy to the family and friends that were present. Before leaving, Hankinson said, ‘if you need anything else, don’t hesitate to call.’

I will always remember his kindness, thank you again, Sgt Hankinson, for your compassionate nature.

This is not the first time I’ve heard a lot of positive feedback about Sgt Hankinson. A lot of people respect him, and a lot of people know he does a helluva job for this borough, said Council President Ralph DiGuiseppe.

This isn’t the first time during Hankinson’s police career he’s demonstrated a sense of community and commitment to serve in a public space, in his more than 28 years with the department.

In 2018, he was honored by the Borough, for helping rescue an intoxicated woman who fell into the Delaware River, and held on to her in the swift current, until additional first responders came to assist with completing the water rescue.

In 2014, Hankinson assisted a woman with a car full of kids that ran out of gas on Mill Street. He filled up a gas can, and paid for it too,  saving the day for the ever grateful woman, which this reporter covered in a story for another publication.

Moors pointed to Hankinson’s dedication to the community and his leadership on the street throughout the years they have worked together.

“Sgt Hankinson is a dedicated compassionate leader and role model officer in our department. Its been an honor and privilege not only to be his friend but to work with him for nearly 30 years. He is an asset to our community and our police department,” he said.

And on the night two new police officers were introduced, they were shown the kind of cops they’ll need to be in order to be successful in their careers in this small community of Bristol.

Caring about the community you serve goes a long way, when it comes, to policing.

Just ask Mr. McCarthy, he knows

You can view the video of Monday’s Council Meeting, on You Tube. Comments covered in this story begin at about the 5:55 mark.

 

 

 

 

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Pat

    February 13, 2022 at 8:47 pm

    Officer Hankinson is the best!

  2. Laura allen

    February 14, 2022 at 12:05 pm

    Lots of love from your family from the other side of the pond England ??????? love laura and Angela allen

  3. Carole Bailey Prater

    March 18, 2022 at 8:48 pm

    Hey Cuz, So proud of you! I always new whatever you did, you would give 100%. Keep going Sgt. just wanted you to know ? Love, your cuz, Carole

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Cops, Courts & Fire -Bensalem Township

Bensalem Twp Council To Vote On Volunteer Fire Company Consolidation Monday Night

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Just under two years ago at a Bristol Borough Council meeting, officials were getting an update on the then planned fire company consolidation effort by Steve Reeves,  president of the Bristol Borough Fire Association. At the time, talk of consolidating fire companies in the borough and Bristol Township was a hot topic.

During his presentation Reeves mentioned consolidation talks of the Bensalem fire company volunteer services were also in progress. At the time tidbit was not in the public domain.

Credit: Submitted

Now after two years of planning, the Bensalem Township Council will vote on a resolution to form The Bensalem Volunteer Fire Department at its next meeting Monday night.

If the resolution is passed, the six legacy fire companies, including Cornwells, Eddington, Newport, Nottingham, Trevose, and Union, will be consolidated into one volunteer fire department. This consolidation plan is necessary to ensure adequate fire/emergency response within the township because of reduced membership amongst the current companies, a press release announced late Friday afternoon.

Credit: Submitted

Reeves knew what he was talking about at the time. Lower Bucks Source in the following days reached out to area first responder sources, officials and Bensalem area volunteer firefighters. No one anywhere would go on or off the record. LBS was directed, by Battalion Chief/Fire Marshal Robert Sponheimer, to the Deputy Director of Public Safety Robert Race who politely declined to respond to a request for comment at the time.

Credit: Submitted

Late last year, according to a Lower Bucks Times report, Bensalem officials spoke rather openly about dwindling volunteer numbers.  This led William McVey, director of public safety, to ask for council approval to apply for a SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) grant through FEMA, which was subsequently approved in November by council.

This past February the township announced the hiring of Mark Antozzeski as the first career Fire Chief in Bensalem history. He is leading the volunteer fire services, as well as Bensalem Fire Rescue, career staff. McVey told Bensalem Patch.com the hiring was an important piece of the consolidation process.

 

Credit: Submitted

Earlier this month,  Nottingham Fire Department Chief Ron Harris was named the Bensalem Volunteer Fire Department Deputy Chief as part of the consolidation effort, according to published report. 

Credit: Submitted

Beginning Friday evening, shortly after receiving the Bensalem announcement on the expected consolidation vote, first responder sources Lower Bucks Source contacted said that back in 2022 when first contacted they declined to comment because the topic was sensitive in nature and a real possibility of backlash existed and concerns about “sabotaging” the process were also omnipresent. Those sources again declined to comment on the record.

Consolidation Efforts in Bristol Borough & Bristol Township

In February, Bristol Borough voted to consolidate their volunteer fire services. Prior to that step the borough approved applying for a Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program Grant in the amount of $1.5 to build a new fire house at a yet to be determined location.

As far back as February of 2022, a smaller plan in size and scope was being discussed in Bristol Township involving Newportville Fire Company #1, Third District Fire Company with career fire personnel from the township which came off the heels of  a fire study completed in 2020.  That plan is no longer in play, fire officials say. Third District Fire Chief Howard McGoldrick said it’s a “complete mystery” why Newportville ultimately decided against the discussed move and merger.

” Volunteer fire services in Bucks County are changing right before our eyes” one first responder said last year.

Credit: Submitted

In each of the consolidation efforts, public safety, declining volunteer numbers and increasing costs have been cited repeatedly by officials publicly.

“It’s just not sustainable anymore financially for fire companies, the municipalities they serve, and taxpayers. It’s consolidate or die”, a high ranking first responder source said Friday.

Bensalem Council is expected to pass the resolution with its vote tonight.

Editor’s Note:  Each of the images in this story come from the volunteer fire companies serving Bensalem Township.

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Cops, Courts & Fire -Bensalem Township

Thunderstorm Rips Through Lower Bucks Area Friday Evening

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A Friday evening thunderstorm ripped through the Lower Bucks County area causing power outages, trees to come down, and other related damage.

The storm swept the area beginning around 6 p.m. just as the evening rush hour for motorists was ending.

Scattered wind gusts were expected, with up-to 1/4 inch sized hail and intermitted lightening were called for by forecasters before the storm landed.

Credit: Submitted

In the Winder Village section of Bristol Township, public safety officials say a tree landed on a vehicle while the motorist was operating the vehicle. The driver was able to get out of the vehicle under his own power with no injuries, Third District Fire Company officials said.

Credit: Submitted

 

In the Bensalem -Bristol areas, dozens are still without power, as of 7 a.m. Saturday morning, Information, according to PECO, is still pending assessment in the Croydon  and West Bristol sections of Bristol Twp.

Credit: PECO

No information on any injuries sustained as a result of the storm at this time.

Approximately 400 customers remain without power, PECO officials say in the Lower Bucks County area as of publication time.

Credit: Joe Nelson

 

 

 

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Breaking News - Bensalem Township

“Armed Man” Initiates Lockdown for Levittown Elementary School Thursday, No Charges Filed

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Brookwood Elementary

**Update: Friday 4 a.m.**

Earlier Thursday, Brookwood Elementary in Bristol Township instituted their “Lockdown Procedures” due to an alleged report of a “armed man” in the area of the school.

Parents received a community update notice which said they were in lockdown due to a security concern in a nearby neighborhood.  The notice said updates would be provided as they occur and to please not come to or contact the school.

Police dispatched to the elementary school raced up Haines Road one witness told the publication taking one man into custody, authorities  said.

“There was an incident involving an adult male, who was in possession of a firearm near the school crossing guard post (Kenwood Drive North & Key Lane.) There is no information at this time that he attempted to enter the school. The matter is under investigation. No one has been arrested as of this time,” said Lt. Sean Cosgrove in an e-email exchange with Lower Bucks Source, shortly after the incident.

At 1:30 p.m., the lockdown was lifted without further incident.

 

 

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