By Brad Segall
DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (CBS) – After nearly 40 years on the job, 24 of them as police chief, Stephen White calls it quits today in Doylestown Township, Bucks County.
He comes from a long line of police officers starting with his grandfather in Philadelphia more than a hundred years ago. White calls himself fortunate and says he will miss interacting with the public the most. But after 38 years he’ll wear the uniform for the last time today.
He started 38 years ago in Doylestown Township and remembers what it was like when he showed up. “They gave me a gun and a uniform, patted me on the back and a map and told me to go out on patrol by myself. I was from Philadelphia and didn’t really know the difference between 611 and 202.”
White says he’s seen a lot of changes in law enforcement over the years. “When I came, we had 8,000 residents and, quite honestly, you knew who the town drunk was. You knew who the knuckle-headed kids were that were doing vandalism. And now, you have people in Eastern Europe committing identity crime against senior citizens.”
That, combined with a population explosion that’s led to more crime fueled by drug addictions, more DUI’s and an increase in domestic violence, have made the challenges more difficult. He’s been an advocate for regionalization — combining departments to save money. He plans to stay in the area and is looking for work in public safety.