My name is Thomas E. Szoke and I am running for District Magistrate.
I have been a resident of White Haven Borough 28 years. Since moving to White Haven with my wife Linda Szoke we have raised three daughters all of whom have graduated from the Crestwood school district. My oldest daughters, Nikita Marie and Jessica Ann, went on to Westley College and graduated with honors, our youngest, Shelby Lynn, is currently attending Cedar Crest College and aspires to become a nurse. I am very proud of my children and the choices they have made to follow their mother and myself in volunteering and being active in their communities.
I have always been involved with our community. I served as an elected constable prior to becoming a White Haven Police Officer in 1993. At that time I was also a member of the White Haven Fire Company. Once I became a member of the Police Department I joined other organizations, serving as the Chairman for the White Haven Recreation Board and also filling in as the Chairman of White Haven Babe Ruth until a full time Chairman could be found. I was hired full time for the Police Department in 1996 when I was tasked with being the Training Officer for the Department. I was promoted to Officer in Charge in 2006, and served as the Officer in Charge until I was promoted to Sergeant in 2011. In 2013 I was unanimously appointed as Chief of Police and serve in that position currently. I am currently serving as the Chairman of the White Haven Planning Board; I am a member of the Wyoming Valley Lodge #36 Fraternal Order of Police as well as a member of the Luzerne County Drug Task Force.
I will bring 23 years of experience to this position; my training in child abuse and child sexual abuse investigations is just a small part of that. The Department of Justice along with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has afforded me the opportunity to travel to amazing programs based on keeping our children safe. As a Police Officer in Luzerne County I was given the responsibility to face offagainst defense attorneys and protectvictims and their rights at almost allMagistrate hearings. All summaryviolators and most non-felonycases are also handled by the PoliceOffice who signs as affiant. Thecountless hearing and hours spent ina magisterial court room has givenme the experience needed to protectthe victims and our community whilepaying close attention not to violatethe rights of the accused. All of thistraining and much more over theyears have prepared me to be yournext District Justice.
As your next District Justice Iam the only candidate who pledgesto be available to your local lawenforcement officers 24/7. I havestated that I will give each Chief ofPolice my phone number so theycan contact me at all times not justduring business hours, this will savecountless hours of having to usean on call District Justice. As myrecord shows, I always strive to bea leader not only in my work but inmy community. I have led the WhiteHaven Police Department to nationalrecognition for Community Policing, and I am very proud to say WhiteHaven Borough, Dennison Townshipand Penn Lake Borough are amongthe safest places to raise you childrenin northeast Pennsylvania.
When you vote on May 16th, Iask that you vote for the only provenleader in this race.