Nye sworn in as new police chief

By on June 1, 2016

36-year veteran takes over for retired Chief Seace

Lititz's new police chief, Kerry Nye, with his granddaughter Kailey.

Lititz’s new police chief, Kerry Nye, with his granddaughter Kailey.

No one could deny that it was a bittersweet evening at the Lititz Borough Council meeting on Tuesday.

After many years at borough council meetings, long-time Lititz Borough Police Chief William Seace was making his final appearance as chief. At the same time, Sergeant Kerry Nye was being sworn in as the new police chief, effective June 11.

Then there was the borough’s newest police officer, Andrew Heise, who was just beginning his career in police work, as he was sworn in to his first-ever position as a police officer.

Council member Shane Weaver made the official announcements, taking the opportunity to honor Seace for his service to the community. The crowd of friends, relatives, neighbors and police officers stood to pay tribute to Seace.

“I want to say thank you to Bill for all you have accomplished,” said Weaver. “We appreciate the legacy you have left, and the chain of command you have established.”

Chief Seace watches Lititz Mayor Tim Snyder swear in Chief Nye.

Chief Seace watches Lititz Mayor Tim Snyder swear in Chief Nye.

Mayor Tim Snyder administered the oath of office to both Nye and Heise, followed by many photo opps with the crowd that gathered to say goodbye to Seace and hello to Nye and Heise. Seace, by the way, said that his retirement plans include fishing trips to Florida.

“I am grateful for this opportunity to serve as chief,” said Nye, who has been on the Lititz Borough police force for 36 years. “I will continue to work hard.”

Nye joined the department in 1980, starting off as a patrol officer. He was named sergeant in 1994. In his many years of service in Lititz, he has been involved in nearly every community activity, from planning traffic management for special events to organizing youth programs.

Nye grew up in Schaefferstown and graduated from ELCO High School. He then went on to earn his degree from Penn State.

“Chief Seace and I have always worked together for the benefit of the Lititz community, and I feel saddened that he is retiring, but also happy that he will be able to enjoy his retirement,” said Nye, adding that he wants to carry on what Seace has done.

Nye reported that there will be very few changes in the beginning. There are plans to update some computer and social media areas within the department. One area that Nye hopes to focus on is the growing concerns about drug use, which tends to have a trickle down effect with other crimes.

“I love the community of Lititz and feel we have a well respected and well-run department. Most residents of the community appreciate our service to them, and we strive hard to please and protect them,” said Nye, adding that it is the volunteer groups that make Lititz great, such as the Lititz Fire Company, Lititz Public Library, and all of the Lititz service organizations.

Nye has been married to Bonnie Klahr Nye for 35 years, the same year they moved to Lititz. They have two grown sons, a three-year-old granddaughter, and a grandson expected to arrive in July.

Andrew Heise, joined by family and friends at Borough Hall Tuesday night, is Lititz's newest police officer.

Andrew Heise, joined by family and friends at Borough Hall Tuesday night, is Lititz’s newest police officer.

New police officer Andrew Heise is 24 and a 2010 graduate of Lancaster Catholic High School. He earned his degree in criminology at West Virginia University, then joined the Pennsylvania National Guard. Heise graduated from the Lackawanna College Police Academy.

“I was born in Virginia, but my family moved to Lititz when I was very young,” he said. “I grew up in Lititz my whole life.”

The son of Andrew and Leesa Heise, he had more than a dozen friends and family members at his swearing-in ceremony.

“This is like a dream come true for me. I couldn’t be happier about my first job as a police officer in my hometown,” he said.

In one of his first recommendations as new chief, Nye asked that borough council agree to have Lititz Borough participate in Project Lifesaver, to which they were very receptive.

The program is being sponsored by the Pilot Club in Lancaster. The Pilot Club has partnered with West Hempfield Township, Elizabethtown Borough and West Lampeter Township to bring Project Lifesaver to Lancaster County.

“They are now interested in bringing it to Lititz Borough and to New Holland,” Nye said.

The program provides tracking for older persons with dementia and children with autism, who are at risk for wandering. A transmitter is used to find their location should they get lost.

Laura Knowles is a freelance reporter who covers the Lititz Borough municipal beat for the Record Express. She welcomes reader feedback and story tips at lknowles21@gmail.com.

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