Collingdale police chief back at work despite city council's controversial demotion vote

Annie McCormick Image
Thursday, June 20, 2024
Collingdale police chief back at work despite city council's controversial demotion vote
Council members in Collingdale, Delaware County have voted to remove the borough's police chief.

COLLINGDALE, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- The police chief of Collingdale in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, is back at work, despite a 5-2 vote in favor of his demotion from council members.

The police union says the controversial vote against Patrick Kilroy Tuesday night has no merit.

Some of the same council members who voted him in as chief last December also voted in favor of his demotion now.

Mayor Donna Matteo-Spadea, along with two council members, say they support Kilroy. But, per protocol, the mayor does not get to vote.

During a meeting earlier this week, those who voted against the chief spoke about an officer shortage and excessive overtime.

However, supporters of Kilroy claim his requests for hiring more officers have been ignored.

"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 Councilmember Felecia 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.

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

Mayor 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.

Action News made attempts to reach out to the members of the council who voted for the removal, but the offices were closed Wednesday for the holiday. The borough solicitor said he can't comment on personnel matters.

Kilroy served as an officer in Collingdale for 20 years and is a volunteer firefighter.