Chief Denies Cops are Soft on Drugs 

Chief Denies Cops are Soft on Drugs 
Posted by FoM on February 22, 2001 at 08:50:45 PT
By Elizabeth Fisher, Courier Times
Source: Bucks County Courier Times
Concerned about public perception, the Tullytown council agreed at its work session last night to table for at least two months a vote on whether to update ordinances dealing with local enforcement of marijuana offenses.Stung by what council members called media overreaction to the ordinance clarification, the council said it would take community reaction into consideration before voting on the issue. 
Tullytown police Chief Patrick Priore issued a statement denying that he and his officers seek to go easy on drug crimes in the borough. "At the request of my narcotics officers, I was only asking to update two ordinances that have been on the books for years," Priore said.The chief said he was angry because he felt the public was being misled about the purpose of the ordinance change. He said the ordinances he was referring to were on the books "way before my time.''"I'm tough on drugs. If a guy is selling drugs in this town, I'm going to confiscate his car or his house. I'm quite brutal on him," Priore said.The chief asked the council on Feb. 6 to update two public ordinances - a 1988 Parks and Recreation one and a 1992 health and safety law - outlining local enforcement of drug offenses. He said narcotics officers in his department had made the request for the clarification of what they said were outdated laws."It is in my job description as police chief to act on requests made by my officers," Priore said. "I do not make, add or create new ordinances."The chief said he was angered by suggestions that he was "allowing use of drugs" in the borough. He added that a disorderly practices citation is not automatic. Priore was applauded by the council and members of the audience who verbally expressed support for him. Council President Ed Czyzyk said the borough received eight telephone calls yesterday, six of which expressed support for the chief's request.Councilman Al DiGiovanni fought back tears as he praised Priore for his continuing efforts to rid the town of drug dealers. "People don't understand what he deals with day after day," DiGiovanni sobbed.Mayor David Cutchineal said the effort to update the ordinances was "born of our police department's efforts to be proactive in fighting drugs."Borough solicitor Kevin Bradway said enforcing the local ordinance actually might make it tougher to puff pot in Tullytown. He reiterated that the borough has the right to set penalties for drug violations."We're between a rock and a hard place," said Czyzyk. "We'll take the tempo of the community, discuss the issue with the Tullytown Youth Aid Panel before we put it on the agenda."Note: Tullytown police Chief Patrick Priore reacted angrily to media reports that he is "creating" new ordinances to reduce the penalty for drug offenses. Source: Bucks County Courier Times (PA)Author: Elizabeth Fisher, Courier Times Published: Monday, February 21, 2001Copyright: 2001 Calkins Newspapers. Inc. Address: 8400 Route 13, Levittown, PA Feedback: Website: Related Articles:Reduce Penalty for Pot? Time To Just Say No Council Weighs Reducing Pot Penalty States Have Decriminalized MJ Possession?
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