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Bucks Sheriff Fred Harran Blasts Dem Commissioners Over Crime

Bucks County Sheriff Fred Harran says crime has been steadily rising since the COVID pandemic, and he points the finger at the county’s leadership and its lack of action. In particular, he singled out the county’s two Democratic Commissioners.

“It’s not an ‘R’ and a ‘D’ thing,” said Harran, a 38-year law enforcement professional. “It’s a safety and a police thing. They just don’t want to support the police. I’ve been quiet as long as I can, and I hate to say it, but this is the time for change.”

Since the COVID pandemic ended, “in the last couple of years, we’re seeing a pretty dramatic (crime) increase in Bucks County,” said Harran. Robbery is up 22.7 percent, burglaries are up almost 33 percent, and theft is up 21.8 percent. Auto theft is up over 30 percent.

And he accused the Democratic commissioners of lying about the crime statistics.

While Democratic Commissioners Chair Bob Harvie and Vice Chair Diane Marselgia claim crime is down, “they’re using statistics, comparing pre-COVID days to COVID days.” During the pandemic, most people stayed home, so there were fewer burglaries and car thefts, he said.

“People’s houses don’t get burglarized at night. They get burglarized during the day when they’re at work. Well, if you’re not at work and working from home, it’s hard to burglarize your help,” said Harran, who was the police superintendent in Bensalem before he was elected county sheriff. “But we’re in a post-COVID world and crime is on the rise.”

“And one of the big problems that we’re facing is the amount of drugs that are out there, and now with the new drug Xylazine (Tranq), it poses all kinds of new problems,” said Harran.

One of those problems is how people with medical issues are treated in the county system.

“The issue is the jail does not have a medical component to it,” said Harran. “So the jail will not accept anybody that has any type of medical problem. So, when a police officer arrests somebody, I’ll give you a very simple but true story. So, if your blood pressure is elevated by the time you get to the prison, they won’t take you.  So, who doesn’t get arrested and [experience] high blood pressure?

“So you have high blood pressure, they make you go to the hospital and now you’re taking police officers off the streets to go sit at a hospital while a person gets cleared and you’re posing a potential danger to the hospital,” Harran said.

“We saw what happened years ago with, in Newtown, in St. Mary’s Hospital with Officer(Brian) Gregg when he was fatally shot at  St. Mary’s,” said Harran. Robert Anthony Flor killed Gregg and wounded two other people on Sept. 26, 2005. Flor was sentenced to death.

“Prisoners don’t belong in hospitals unless they have a hospital wing that’s properly secure,” said Harran. “The county’s going to have to pay the piper and they’re going have to get with the times. And, you know, we got some people in county positions right now that just have no interest in doing that,” he said, referring to Harvie and Marseglia.

Harran also disputes claims from the two Democrats that the county is adequately funding the sheriff’s office.

“They keep telling everybody they gave me $1 million. I can’t find it in my budget anywhere.”

Officials told Harran that he can hire two additional deputies now, two later and four in 2024.

“The way they do budgeting is absurd,” said Harran. “I’m trying to get (new) vehicles in my budget. They took them out of my budget and then told me, ‘Well, if you can find the cars, them come back to us and we’ll try to get you the money. Well, I’ve been doing budget for 16 years in Bensalem and I’ve never budgeted that way — ever.

I don’t know what school of budgeting they went to, but I’s nothing I’ve ever learned.”

Harran said he came into office wanting to “play in the sandbox with everyone.”

“Until someone throws the sand in my face. I’ve been in law enforcement 38 years. They came from other professions but they don’t know jack about my job.”

Commissioners Harvie and Marseglia did not respond to requests for comment.

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Weintraub Cries Foul Over Bogus Campaign Signs From Bucks County Dem

When big, banner signs appeared in Bucks County showing popular Republican District Attorney Matt Weintraub campaigning with Democrat County Commissioners Diane Marseglia and Bob Harvie, it was big political news.

Particularly to Matt Weintraub.

“Over the weekend, I was disappointed to learn that my name has been used by the Marseglia-Harvie campaign without my authorization or permission,” Weintraub, who’s running for Common Pleas judge, told DVJournal.

“I can’t allow this, and I won’t stand for it,” Weintraub added.

The signs were paid for by Marseglia’s campaign PAC.

“I’ve worked hard serving the people of Bucks County over the last three decades and have lived here with my family for most of half a century. I’ve earned my reputation, I’m proud of my good name here, and I am honored to have the opportunity to serve the people of Bucks County as the next Judge of the Court of Common Pleas.”

Weintraub, whose candidacy is uncontested, will appear on the November ballot on both the Democratic and Republican lines after Democratic voters wrote in his name in the primary. However, Weintraub did not seek the Democratic Party’s nomination.



“Earning the support of Bucks County voters, regardless of their party affiliation, is important to me because judge is not a partisan position,” Weintraub said. “That is why I accepted the will of the Democrat voters who wrote me in during the Primary Election in May. So, now I appear on both sides of the ballot.

“Unfortunately, in typical underhanded politics, the Bucks County Democratic Party seeks to capitalize on my name, and my reputation for their own selfish reasons.”

Marseglia declined to respond to repeated requests for comment, as did the Bucks County Democratic Party.

Pat Poprik, chair of the Bucks County Republican Committee, said, “I am very disappointed in the recent action of the Bucks County Democratic party. To take and put someone’s name, without their permission or approval, on large signs throughout the county, inferring that they are supporting someone else, is so wrong.  We would never, ever do that to a candidate!”

“The inference or intent is to make it look as if Matt endorses the Democratic candidates, which he absolutely, emphatically states he does not. It is such an underhanded action that I cannot believe they thought it was the right thing to do,” said Poprik.

“I hope they now do the right, ethical action and remove the misleading signs or at least cover Matt’s name. You cannot and should not do that to anyone, let alone someone who’s running for the position of judge,” she added.

Weintraub said, “In February, I neither sought nor received the endorsement of the Bucks County Democrat Committee, despite their endorsement for every other candidate on their slate. I was the only one not endorsed, and it was their choice.”

He added, “ I was never consulted on whether my name could be used, and it has now been misappropriated in a purely political move by the Bucks County Democratic Party. Let me be crystal clear: my name appears on their signs without my endorsement or my permission.  It is the worst kind of underhanded politics.

“I resent it, and I demand that they take my name off their signs immediately,” said Weintraub.

“The Board of Elections Office is a non-partisan government department tasked with administering free, fair and secure elections in Bucks County. It does not weigh in on politics,” said Bucks County James O’Malley, when asked if the board could comment on the sign.

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