Yahoo Associated Content by Marlin Bressi - February 19, 2011
Over 150 Pennsylvania State Troopers Have Been Arrested Since 1994
Despite three separate incidents in February involving disgraced Pennsylvania state troopers, the public outrage has been minimal. While these troopers are not the first to run afoul of the law in the Keystone State, the short time span between these incidents, as well as several other high-profile incidents in recent years, suggests that there is something most definitely wrong with our state's police force. The PSP's latest woes began on Wednesday, Feb. 2, when the body of suspended state trooper David Alan Lynch was found in a wooded area in Conyngham Township, Columbia County. Lynch's death, which was ruled accidental, took place during the week in which the suspended trooper was scheduled to go on trial for resisting arrest, and a DUI (driving under the influence) charge stemming from a domestic disturbance in 2009. (Shamokin News-Item, Feb. 9, 2011) On the same day, a Cumberland County jury found Trooper Barry Tangert, Jr. guilty of obstructing a child molestation investigation. Tangert is scheduled to be sentenced in March. (Associated Press, Feb. 2, 2011) On Feb. 15, Pennsylvania State Trooper Douglas N. Sversko, of Lewisburg, was arrested after allegedly sending sexually explicit videos to an undercover agent from the Child Predator Unit posing as a 13-year-old girl. Sversko faces at least two felony counts. (Shamokin News-Item, Feb. 17, 2011) The conditions surrounding Sversko's arrest are nearly identical to an incident involving another Pennsylvania state trooper which took place in Delaware County in 2008. Pennsylvania State Trooper Albert Silvari was arrested and convicted of criminal solicitation to rape, statutory sexual assault, and other charges. Silvari was caught in a sting while attempting to solicit two girls, aged 8 and 10. Other incidents involving Pennsylvania troopers include the 2010 arrest of Daniel Freeman, a Washington County trooper involved in an arson plot, and the 2010 arrest of Christopher Miller, a Pennsylvania State Trooper who was caught on tape assaulting a 72-year old man near Greensburg. In 2009, trooper Kevin Foley was arrested and subsequently found guilty of killing a dentist in Blairsville, PA. Shawn Dillard, a state trooper in Harrisburg, was convicted in 2009 for aiding and abetting a child prostitution ring. In 2008, a state trooper named Kevin Coleman faced federal charges for protecting the very same child prostitution ring near Harrisburg. A Philadelphia-area state trooper named John Travis Lane was charged in 2003 with a string of burglaries in Chester County. Lane's arrest in 2003 came a week after a state police report indicated that nearly 100 Pennsylvania state troopers had been arrested over the past decade for crimes ranging from incest to rape. According to the state police study completed in 2003, a whopping 82 state troopers were arrested on felony and misdemeanor charges since 1994. The same report also revealed another 25 state troopers arrested for summary offenses such as disorderly conduct and harassment. After the release of the 2002 report, then-governor Ed Rendell vowed to fix the problem. Perhaps 2011 will be the year current governor Tom Corbett makes the same empty promise. In the meantime, residents of the Keystone State will be left to fend for themselves against the uniformed menace sworn to protect us.