DALLAS TWP. — Supervisors unanimously voted to replace Police Chief Robert Jolley with Assistant Police Chief Douglas J. Higgins at their reorganizational meeting Tuesday.
The announcement did not seem to shock any of the attendees, as Jolley has been preparing for a career change.
Jolley served Dallas Township residents as a law enforcement officer for 29 years, which includes 14 as police chief. He will retain his position until February to train Higgins, according to supervisors.
Recently, Jolley began working toward earning a doctorate in criminal justice from the California University of Pennsylvania.
“It is time to move on and do other things,” Jolley said, adding he currently teaches criminal justice at Penn State Wilkes-Barre in Lehman Township and at the Lackawanna Police Academy.
Higgins, who started his career with Dallas Township in 1991, said Jolley has been training him to take over as chief “for several years.”
“He was talking about retiring awhile now,” Higgins said.
Higgins does not plan to make any changes to the department.
“It is running smoothly now,” he said. “I want to try to keep it going.”
Also, new supervisor Robert Wagner, a Republican, was sworn in earlier in the day.
Wagner, who is a Dallas Township Road Department employee and the son of Dallas Township Supervisor Chairman Frank Wagner, was voted in to replace Democratic incumbent Elizabeth Martin during November’s general election.
Dallas Township supervisors serve a six-year term.
Other appointments include:
• Frank Wagner as supervisor chairman and alternate to the Back Mountain Community Partnership;
• Supervisor William Grant as supervisor vice chairman and member of the Back Mountain Community Partnership;
• Attorney Thomas Brennan as solicitor for the supervisors;
• Nancy Balutis will continue as the township secretary, treasurer and the Right-To-Know officer;
• Martin Barry as Dallas Township road master;
• Susan Maloney as police secretary; and
• Carl Alber as the township zoning and code enforcement officer.
Alber’s appointment was made on a 2-1 vote. Frank and Robert Wagner voted for Alber, but Grant voted against the motion.
“I have some questions about the position and the requirements done in the past,” Grant said after the meeting. “I am pushing for a meeting to resolve some issues I have about the job (Alber) provided.”
Supervisor meetings this year will continue to be held at 7 p.m. on the first Tuesday of the month in the municipal building.