Coatesville PD keeps it positive despite Monday’s attack on officer

Will continue community outreach efforts to maintain lines of communication with public

By Lauren Parker- Gill, News Editor, The Times


At a recent Coffee with the Chief event at Fuel City Cafe, Coatesville Police Lt. James Audette showed a student of the Coatesville Area School District how the traffic cams in the city can be viewed from his mobile phone.

COATESVILLE – Despite Monday’s attack on a city police officer, police officials say they remain committed to a mission of community involvement, interaction and working to gain the trust of the city’s residents.

Police Chief Jack Laufer reports the department was already at a heightened sense of awareness due to the events in Louisiana and Texas, however the morale of the police department remains positive — and his officers will continue to work to be a positive presence in the community.

“Cops are cops. We don’t let things like this change how we do our jobs or how we perceive our jobs.” Laufer said Tuesday.

Laufer says the department will continue working to keep the lines of communication open between the community and the police, as they always have.

Referring to a quote from Sir Robert Peel, the father of modern policing, “Police are the public and the public are the police.”

Laufer said he thinks the department is built on good community policing.

“There has to be a partnership – it can’t be the police against the public or the public against the police.”

At the dedication of Coatesville's splash pad last week, Sgt. Rodger Ollis walked through the sprinklers with some children as Chief Jack Laufer looked on.

At the dedication of Coatesville’s splash pad last week, Sgt. Rodger Ollis walked through the sprinklers with some children as Chief Jack Laufer looked on.

Crediting Sgt. Rodger Ollis as the face of the department and community outreach, Laufer said that the police department will continue its efforts to establish good community relations through events such as Coffee with the Chief, partnering with the Radicals and participating at local events.

Laufer said the impact these efforts have is shown when people wave as police are patrolling the streets or stop to say hello.

And while Monday’s event was distressing — when a city man attacked a police cruiser on Lincoln Avenue in broad daylight — it doesn’t change the level of engagement and participation by city police, Laufer noted.

The detective injured during Monday’s incident — still not identified by police — suffered a broken sternum and was kept overnight at Paoli Hospital, where he will be reevaluated and possibly released today.

Alluding to possible mental issues with suspect Eric Watson, age 29, Laufer said he has not been identified in the homeless count with Point in Time.

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