New police chief in Lower Merion

January 7, 2009 3:24:15 PM PST
There's a new top cop in Lower Merion Township, Montgomery County. Police Superintendent Mike McGrath, a 29 year veteran of the force, was sworn in Wednesday night.

"My first goal was to go out there and be a police officer," McGrath said.

McGrath replaces Joseph Daly, who held the job for 14 years.

The 52-year-old McGrath still remembers the day he joined the force in 1979.

Since then he has seen the best, and also the worst, in the township.

"We should write a journal from when we first start on the job, because people never believe all the different things you come across," said McGrath.

Through it all, McGrath's policing philosophy has remained simple: "We practiced community policing before it became the vogue term, which means we address issues, the core problems, that affect the community."

Lower Merion has not recorded a homicide since 2007, and its crime rate actually from in 2008. However, McGrath expects that to change considering the current economic situation.

McGrath also takes over a department that is experiencing some minor belt tightening with staff, even though it is currently looking for new blood due to retirements.

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