Yeadon community meeting gets heated over future of police chief's job

"Everything I've done in this town, I don't deserve that," said Chief Anthony Paparo.
YEADON, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Controversy is continuing to brew in Yeadon, Delaware County over the future of the borough's top cop.

Tempers flared Monday night during what was meant to be a public meeting to discuss progress.

While not any agenda, the bulk of the fiery discourse was centered on the future of Chief Anthony Paparo.

Tensions have been steadily rising between some residents and leaders over concerns his contract would not be renewed.

Paparo says his race is being held against him.

The borough has a population of about 12,000 people: roughly 88% of residents are African American.

"When people say that they want a Black chief because it's a Black town, I didn't want to believe it," said Paparo.

Paparo spoke with Action News shortly before Monday night's meeting.

"Everything I've done in this town, I don't deserve that," Paparo said.

The chief, who has been on the job for five years, says he's been offered a three-month severance, which he declined.

He also refuted claims from the council president that his job was in jeopardy over general complaints and years of overspending.

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Chief Anthony Paparo says his race is being held against him, but the borough council president says that's not the case.

Paparo cited the unrest two years ago and the ongoing pandemic.

"I will put the lives and the safety of the residents of this town that I call family before worrying about a bank of hours," Paparo added.

At Monday's meeting, there was a flurry of support from the public and one explosive endorsement of support from the mayor.

"This man's performance is way above par," exclaimed Mayor Rohan Hopkins.

Others disagreed.

"I work in this neighborhood. I'm out here every single day and I don't see this police chief never," said one resident.

"Council has the right to get rid or hire anybody they want to," said another resident.

But the chief made it clear he has no intention of going quietly.

"I'm not going anywhere," Paparo said.

A decision on Paparo's job could be announced on February 17.
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