Officials: Separation with police officer would be best for Hummelstown, residents

Lisa Mearkle

HUMMELSTOWN, Pa. (WHTM) – An agreement in principle that would end police Officer Lisa Meakle’s employment with the Hummelstown Police Department would be the best result for the borough and its residents, borough officials said in a statement Friday.

Mearkle shot and killed an unarmed man, 59-year-old David Kassick, after he fled a traffic stop in February. She was found not guilty of third-degree murder and voluntary and involuntary manslaughter after a November trial.

Borough officials said the council made the decision to negotiate with Mearkle after listening closely to members of the community who expressed their views both publicly and privately.

Mearkle attorney Michael Miller announced the preliminary agreement at a council meeting Thursday. If approved, she would separate from the borough in January. It’s not clear if she would receive a severance package.

Outside the Hummelstown Post Office, many were eager to talk about the news.

“She probably should have her job back, but I don’t think a lot of people are going to welcome her, which makes for not a very friendly environment to work in, so I wish her well,” Gee Kalasky of Hershey said.

“I think it’s good that she’s not going to be working in Hummelstown,” John Davis of Hershey said. “I don’t think she should not be a police officer maybe, but the feelings in town, the tension.”

“I think she needs to leave her employment. I think there have been a number of issues and the last of which we saw is the end,” Jan Edwards of Hummelstown said. She needs to terminate.”

“I think it’s a shame what happened, very unfortunate,” Sterling Gernert Jr. of Hummelstown said. “There’s a lot of bitter feelings, so I don’t know why she would want to.”

Council will take a vote when the agreement is finalized.

Mearkle has been suspended with pay since March.

More than 2,000 people have signed an online petition asking the police department to dismiss Mearkle.

 

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