Collingdale council votes to remove Police Chief Patrick Kilroy

Annie McCormick Image
Wednesday, June 19, 2024
Collingdale council votes to remove Police Chief Patrick Kilroy
Collingdale council votes to remove Police Chief Patrick Kilroy

COLLINGDALE, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Council members in Collingdale, Delaware County have voted to remove the borough's police chief.

The vote on Tuesday night was 5-2 in favor of removing Chief Patrick Kilroy.

The vote came despite a packed house of community members who were in support of the chief.

Residents, several council members and officers all testified about Kilroy's efforts toward making safety in Collingdale his top priority.

The council members who are opposed to Kilroy spoke about the shortage of officers at the police department and what they see as excessive overtime as reasons for removing Kilroy.

Paperwork shows Kilroy's requests to hire more officers to relieve overtime spending.

Kilroy was sworn into office last December by some of the same council members who voted him out.

He's served as an officer in Collingdale for 20 years and is a volunteer firefighter.

On Wednesday, it wasn't clear what status Kilroy holds in the department, since those close to him say he hasn't received any notification of a demotion.

Mayor Donna Matteo-Spadea and Councilmember Felecia Coffee spoke to Action News on Wednesday.

Both support Kilroy and say he made numerous attempts to get council to authorize hiring more officers.

"He's been making that request since January, numerous times. He's asked can civil services be enacted to no avail. He's asked if you can hire part-time officers," said Coffee.

Some speculated Tuesday night the decision against Kilroy was personal.

"The president don't like him," said longtime resident Dwight Greene, who showed up to support Kilroy.

"The police are outstanding because they work hard for the chief," added Greene.

"I think a lot of the things going on in Collingdale with council are racially motivated," said Matteo-Spadea.

Matteo-Spadea and Coffee have concerns over morale in the department following the vote. The mayor said they are already down 10 officers.

"I'm worried about losing POs, I'm worried about safety on our streets without a chief," she said.

We made attempts to reach out to the members of council who voted for the removal, but the offices were closed for the holiday.

The borough solicitor said he can't comment on personnel matters.