Oxford Borough welcomes Iacono as new police chief
● By Steven Hoffman
Sam Iacono officially became the new police chief of Oxford Borough on Monday night as he was sworn into office during a special ceremony that was held at the Oxford Presbyterian Church’s community room to accommodate the large crowd that gathered for the event.
Dozens of law enforcement officials from throughout the county joined a large crowd of Oxford residents, business owners and elected officials to celebrate Iacono’s selection as the new police chief of the 16-officer police department that serves a community of approximately 5,200 residents.
“We, as a town, are so pleased that you are joining this great police department,” said Oxford Borough Mayor Lorraine Bell.
Before he was hired as Oxford’s new police chief, Iacono served as a police lieutenant with the West Chester Borough Police Department. There was a large contingent of police officers from Iacono’s former department at the swearing-in ceremony, and Iacono referred to his colleagues from West Chester as his second family.
“To have the support of all these Chester County police officers, to have the support of the former police department and the new police department—it’s amazing,” Iacono said. “It really means a lot.”
Iacono is already somewhat familiar with Oxford Borough because he lives with his wife and children in East Nottingham Township.
“I shop here. I eat here. I know how to get around,” he said with a grin.
Becoming a police chief is the pinnacle of his long law enforcement career, but Iacono said that he did not expect to have the opportunity. He was very happy doing his job with the West Chester Police Department and would have been content to finish his career with that department, but the opportunity to serve the community that he lives in was one that he wanted to pursue.
Becoming a police officer in the first place was a goal that Iacono had since his childhood—at least in part.
Iacono said that when he was growing up, he knew he wanted to serve the community as either a fireman or a police officer. He almost joined a fire department as a professional firefighter before he got a job with the West Chester Police Department. Iacono never looked back, and he worked his way up through the ranks with the West Chester Police Department, serving as a patrol officer, sergeant, and lieutenant. He was involved in all aspects of community policing—ranging from patrol operations and criminal investigations to police training and working on the narcotics division.
One of the speakers at the swearing-in ceremony was West Chester Police Chief Scott Bohn, who said that Iacono is well prepared to take on the new challenge at this point in his career.
“I have worked with Sam for many, many years. I think he will make an excellent police chief,” Bohn said. He then outlined some qualities that it takes to make a good police chief, emphasizing that Iacono possesses all the qualities. Bohn said that Iacono is experienced, and he understands what the police officers in the department will be dealing with day-to-day. He will also be supportive and honest with the officers in the department, and he will be able to inspire the officers to do their best work so that the community is safe.
“He can relate to the new officers coming in, as well as the experienced officers,” Bohn explained. “He respects the profession and the badge.”
Oxford Borough has been without a permanent police chief since the beginning of the year, which is when former police chief John Slauch’s contract expired. Slauch served the borough for more than a decade. Cpl. Scott Brown very capably served as the interim police chief, and Bell lauded him for leading the department for nine months that included the first Connective Festival and numerous other community events that took a lot of planning by the police department.
Bell said that Brown always serves Oxford with unwavering dedication, and he did everything that was necessary to provide good leadership to the department during his tenure as interim police chief.
When Bell concluded her remarks about Brown, he received a standing ovation from those in attendance.
Brown then welcomed the new police chief to Oxford, pledging that he has the full support of the police officers.
“We all stand with you, chief. Welcome to the family,” Brown said.
Next, it was Iacono's turn to have the microphone. He recognized a number of guests, including law enforcement officials from various departments, District Attorney Tom Hogan, State Rep. John Lawrence, members of Oxford Borough Council, Oxford Area School District superintendent David Woods, and officials from organizations like the Oxford Area Chamber of Commerce and Oxford Mainstreet, Inc.
Iacono pledged to serve Oxford and its residents well as he leads the police department.
“I am fully committed to giving everything I have to this police department,” he said. “The top priority of the Oxford Police Department will always be public safety. I am looking forward to not just leading the Oxford Police Department, but being a part of it.”
When he concluded his remarks, Iacono received a standing ovation. He shook hands with Bohn, and then shook hands with every member of the Oxford Police Department who was at the event.
During his speech, Iacono said that he is looking forward to meeting with residents, business owners, church leaders in Oxford in the coming weeks. He’s also looking forward to working alongside the members of the Oxford Police Department.
“It’s going to be an honor to work with Cpl. Brown and the men and women in the Oxford Police Department,” Iacono said. “I am more than honored to be serving as your police chief.”