Chambersburg chief to head police group

June 04, 1997


Staff Writer, Chambersburg

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Starting in July, Chambersburg Police Chief Michael DeFrank will be answering to a second title.

DeFrank, 50, will assume the role of president of the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association for a one-year term. He is the first police chief in Franklin County to hold the title in the 84-year-old nonprofit organization.

"It's a nice honor. It's a nice thing to have happen," DeFrank said.

A career law enforcement officer, with 14 years as Chambersburg's police chief, DeFrank has worked his way up to the association's leadership since his election to the post of third vice president three years ago by members representing the organizations' central region.

"I think it's an honor that he was chosen," said Chambersburg Mayor Robert Morris. "It reflects well on the Chambersburg Police Department and the borough. We're pleased he has such a high ranking in the state."


The state association evolved into a training organization for police chiefs and officers and acts as a forum to stay in close contact with state legislators, DeFrank explained.

As president, DeFrank will oversee the activities of the association with the chairman of the board and the executive director. He will remain borough police chief during his tenure.

Some of his duties will include managing a staff of six employees who work out of the Harrisburg, Pa., headquarters, making policy decisions, representing the association at public functions, handling media relations and conducting meetings at the annual conference, according to outgoing President Tom Sturgeon, assistant superintendent of the Allegheny County Police Department.

"Chief DeFrank is a bright guy and a good leader. I'm positive he'll do a great job," Sturgeon said. "It will be a pleasure to turn over the gavel to someone of Chief DeFrank's quality."

Sturgeon said he would like to see DeFrank continue some of the projects that he started in the last year, including awarding a medal of valor each year to a deserving police officer, striving for the department's financial stability and following through with the association's long range plans.

"My only advice to Chief DeFrank would be to do what you feel is right," Sturgeon said.

DeFrank said he has some goals of his own for his term, primarily in the form of political action.

"I'm interested, and the association is also interested, in trying to get pending legislation passed," he said.

Under DeFrank, the association will continue to lobby for support of a statewide pension plan bill that would allow municipal employees to retain their pension plans when changing jobs.

DeFrank also has plans to get the association behind a bill that would allow municipal police in the state to use radar for traffic control.

He also wants to stop or change pending legislation which, if passed, would not allow police in the state to use unmarked police cars for traffic control.

DeFrank was born and raised in Chester, Pa., in Delaware County. After two years in the Air Force, he entered law enforcement in Kansas City, Mo., in 1968. From 1976 to 1983 he was police chief for Northumberland Borough Police before moving to Chambersburg.

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