Middletown Chief of Police Joe Bartorilla

We were again joined this morning by Joe Bartorilla, Middletown’s Chief of Police during our weekly Zoom meeting.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in public administration and a master’s degree in administrative science, both from Fairleigh Dickinson University. He also graduated from the FBI National Academy, the Northwest University School of Police Staff and Command and the Police Executive Research Forum’s Senior Management Institute.  Joe was also a 20-year veteran of the Philadelphia police force before being named chief after a seven-month search by the Township’s Board of Supervisors. 

Since then Chief Bartorilla has lived up to his commitment to be an accessible chief and be a part of the community.  “I’m not the type of chief who will come into the office and shut the door at 8:00 AM and then leave at 60 PM,” he said. “You’re going to know who I am; you are going to meet me.”

Joe spoke at length about the two unique challenges his department has faced in just the past several months; COVID-19 and the issues arising from the death of George Floyd and Black Lives Matter movement.

The Middletown Police Department took the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic seriously very early and began assembling PPE for its personnel … recognizing that the very nature of their job required them to come in regular contact with people throughout the community when social distancing was often not an option. Their custom masks are even carry the department’s logo for additional recognition.

Despite all their preparation, nine officers contracted COVID-19.  However, none of them required hospitalization and they have had no new infections for the past four months.  The first of those who caught the disease had many of the symptoms and was really sick.  A second officer had relatively mild symptoms (loss to taste and smell) but took much longer to recover as she had a lingering cough for a period of time.  In all instances, mandated contract tracing was necessary to identify everyone, personal and on-the-job, with whom they had recently been in contact.

The department to a far more aggressive approach that recommended by the county where it came to requiring masks and social distancing (wherever possible and practicable).  Joe feels that Bucks County has done a good job in containing the spread and that the Commonwealth had done “pretty well”.

In related matters, while he has not seen any “sharp” increases, there have been upticks in domestic violence in the county as well as in homelessness and the needs for children in youth.   Initially, one of the biggest challenges was the shelters and organizations who help were reluctant to admit people as so much was unknown about COVID-19.  Fortunately, this situation has improved, and Joe has been impressed with the recent responses from local houses of worship and volunteer organizations who have tried to assist these people … including A Woman’s Place for which the Club has again recently raised funds through its Virtual Charity Walk.

Chief Bartorilla then went on to describe the department’s role and responses to the civil unrest resulting from the BLM movement in the wake of the death of George Floyd.  The key date for the Middletown Police Department was Sunday, May 31st when rioting and looting began to occur in Trenton and Philadelphia … and began to spread to section of the city not normally plagued by such incidents and well as some of the suburbs. 

Upon learning of a planned rally at the Five Points intersection on social media, officers were deployed to what appeared to be about 100 peaceful demonstrators.  Meanwhile, five other officers wee sent to the Neshaminy Mall in Bensalem where reports of looting surface … and to support the Bensalem Police Department which has sent some of its officers to Philadelphia.

Chief Bartorilla, using his cell phone, learned of some threats to the Oxford Valley Mall and possibly Sesame Place.  He instructed his men to circle the Mall in their cars with their police lights on to send a signal that they were prepared for any unlawful activity.  Similar efforts to discourage problems continue for the next week.

They did have one incident stemming from some vandalism of some vehicles at the Happy Hour Tavern.  The suspects were located and detained along Veterans Highway.  Fortunately, they were extremely “respectful” and for the most part “cooperative”.  Three arrests resulted.

The recent arrest in the Bronx of the individual who punched a teenage worker a Sesame Place resulted form the officer on duty at the amusement park having gotten the license plate for the perpetrators and the timely cooperation of the NYPD.  The man was arrested and ha since been transferred to Bucks County where is currently resides in jail.  His wife was given 30-day s to turn herself in, as the authorities wanted to give her the time to make arrangements for the care of her four children.

Joe gives Governor Wolf credit for his “education” not “confrontation” policy when it comes to dealing with individuals not wearing a face covering or properly socially distancing.

A question came up about solicitation calls from people alleging to be from police benevolent organizations.  Joe identified three, the Bucks County Order of Police, the Bucks County Chief’s of Police and the Bucks County Police Association (which supports many charitable causes) as legitimate groups.  At the same time, he encourages people not to be intimidated or feel they had to contribute to any of these groups.

He also hoped that the Department’s Shop with a Cop initiative could again be held, even if on a scaled-down basis, but knows that everything rests on the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Club thanked for his candor and availability to our Club, its members and community at-large.

The COVID-19 Pandemic Doesn’t Slow Our Club Down!

Despite the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertainties surrounding the opening of Philadelphia schools, members of the  Club have continued to collect and donate hundreds of dollars of classroom and other supplies for the William Dick School.  Earlier today, Alan Agree packed his car full and drove to Philly where an excited cadre of teachers and staff were there to greet him

 and unload his vehicle.

.While, "neither rain, nor snow, nor dark of night" slows down the mail … we've discovered, even while masking, social distancing and taking all other recommended precautions during the pandemic, our Club and its dedicated members can continue to support any number of causes and individual in need. 

Helping a Vietnam Veteran in Need

Last week, the Club became aware of an area Vietnam veteran and purple heart recipeint and has since become a cancer survivor whose washing machine failed.  While this veteran was not destitute, he was facing challenging economic times . 

When the waashing machine was insepcted by a service technician, it became clear that repairs would be extremely extensive and very costly  At teh same time, purchaisng a replacement became the logcal and most cost effective alternative.

Fortunately, over time, the Club had collected monies through several donation jars placed in local retail locations. At yesterrday's Board meeting it was agreed to make a donation through VFW Post 6393 in Yardley which would prvide the monies directly to the veteran to help with the cost of a new washing machine. 


Russ Davidson, VFW Post 6393 Commander receiving a check form Dick Newbert – Also present was Irv Perlstein (behind the camera)



Brian Fitzpatrick – Republican Candidate for Congress Joined Today’s Meeting

Brian Fitzpatrick is no stranger to our Rotary CLub, having taken the time to speak to our membership on several occasions, both prior to and since the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions wen into place.

On his very first day in office, Brian put forth a bold government reform plan which challenged the career politicians in Washington: term limits for members of Congress, pass a budget or don’t get paid, and balance the budget.

He has been the leader, and presently Vice Chair, of the Problem Colvers Caucus in the House of Representatives, made up of 25 Republicans and 25 Democrats.  His independence from the ideologies of both the far Right and far Left have earned him a reputation as being the most independent member of Congress..

The Lugar Center at Georgetwon Univerrsity on May 20th of this year stated, “Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick earned the highest Bipartisan Index score we have ever recorded by a House member”. 

He’s a nationally-recognized leader in the fight against the opioid crisis, authoring legislation signed into law which provides additional resources for our law enforcement to secure the border and stop the flow of deadly drugs into our communities.

He’s leading the fight to provide those suffering from debilitating terminal diseases a chance at life through access to potentially life-saving treatments.

On other isses he was quesitoned on:

Foreign Policy: 

He sees China as teh biggest threat faced by not only AMerican and the world as a whole.  He is concerned abou thteir actions in the South China Sea, currency manipulations, theft of intellectual property and relationship with Huawei's 5G penetration across teh globe.

Iran seeks to create a fundamentalist Muslim religous theocracy where ever possible

Russia remains an existential threat.

Israel is an important ally and needs our nation's support.


He supports a path to citizenship for immigranst brought to th ecountry by their parents at a young age and know of no other contry but America.

COVID and School openings

Understands that ach school district needs to look aat hte medical science and determine the right course of action to protect students, faculty and administrative staffs and family member at home.

Recognizes the many school districts need financial help fro mtheir local communities, their counties their state governmenst and the federal government.

Keeping children out of school places burdens on families where all parents are working.

Until there is a vaccine and one with wide-spread acceptance, our society may not fully return to th eway it was before the pandemic hit.

COVID Relief Funds

Negotiations over COVID funding is being held-up over two major issues:  Unemployment Compensation and Liability Insurance for business and schools which open up.

Concerend, based on anecdotal eveidence from phone calls received at his offices that some people hae not returend to work as they have been making more money while recieving the enhanced $600 unemployment incentives.

More needs to be done for the unemployed but people shold not receive more than they were making before being laid off.

Voting by Mail

Shares concens that it is a system which can be compromised.

Recognizes it can increase voter participation.

When asked about the relationship between the White House and Justice Department:

He opined that during his career with the Justice Department he never saw in interference from the Exiective branch.

He feels that there is a problem as the Justice Department is headed by the Attorney General who is a presidential appointee.

More information on Brian's posiions on major issues facing the citizens of Bucks and Montgomery Conuties can be found at: https://www.brianfitzpatrick.com/issues/

Brian believes that every American deserves a fair shot at success. He will continue to make certain that our institutions serve us, not the career bureaucrats or politicians, and that all those who work hard can live a fulfilling life of dignity and opportunity.

He will continue to protect our families not only from the threat of international terrorism but also from the scourge of drug abuse.

Brian believes he is uniquely qualified to reform our government and put the American Dream back on track.

For nearly a decade and a half, Brian served our country as an FBI Supervisory Special Agent where his focus was fighting political corruption and supporting global counterterrorism efforts.

As an FBI agent, Brian served our country in Operation Iraqi Freedom – the largest of several active fronts in the War on Terror.

Brian also served as the National Director for the FBI’s Campaign Finance and Election Crimes Enforcement Program, and as a national supervisor for the FBI’s Political Corruption Unit. Moreover, he has traveled the world to promote freedom and democracy, where he is recognized as an expert in restoring integrity to governmental institutions.

As a Special Assistant United States Attorney, Brian prosecuted violent drug and gun offenders to stem the tide of abuse and violence. He was also named “Investigator of the Year” by the Federal Law Enforcement Foundation.

A Levittown native and graduate of Bishop Egan High School, Brian is a graduate of LaSalle University, Penn State University and the Dickinson School of Law. He is both a licensed attorney and a licensed Certified Public Accountant in Pennsylvania.

Brian is an Eagle Scout and a certified Emergency Medical Technician in Pennsylvania. He lives in Middletown Township, Bucks County. Brian has lived in Bucks County for nearly 40 years.

Brian is a Member of the Levittown Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Knights of Columbus.

“Walk of Fame” – Honoring Those Who Have Completed Their 14-mile Charity Walk

We are pleased to recognize and congratulate the following people who have taken the time to help our Rotary Club celebrate its 14th year of "Service Above Self" by participating in its Virtual Charity Walk and completed walking just 14 miles.

(l to r)  Bill Wilmont, Darren Rosin and Jeff Shur relaxing after completing their walk – August 15, 2020

Jerry Redington (14 miles walking aand 240-plus on his bike) – 2020-08-14

Steve Manas(both walking and biking) – August 11, 2020

Bernie Myers (both walking and running) – August 10, 2020

Antonia Fiore and Cameron Maratea – August 6, 2020


Rotary District 7450 Governor Kevin and Linda Katarynick – Augsut 6, 2020

Alexis Agree, Kristin Secchia and their dogs Sydney and Charlie – August 5, 2020

Fran Zeiter and Fred Edelman – August 5, 2020

Steve Juris – August 5,2020

Joseph Bartorilla (Middletwon Chief of Police) – Now over 60 miles – August 4, 2020

Christine Van Horn (with sons Dalton and Wade) – Augsut 3, 2020

Ellen Kenny – August 3, 2020

Donna Fine – July 29, 2020

Mona Klugman – July 25, 2020

Edith and Bill Schultz – July 24, 2020

Claire, Sarrie, Jon and Taylor Fenton – July 24, 2020

John Schur – July 24, 2020

Stacey and Jon Miller – July 20, 2020

accompanied on their walk by Kirby Miller

and Brnatley Miller … who is now clearly exhausted

Irv and Wendy Perlstein – July 24, 2020

Barbara Beckelman (camera shy) – July 19, 2020

Barbara and David Weiss – July 19, 2020

Bob Morris (Now at 28 miles and counting) – July 16, 2020

Donna Kutzer (William Dick School – Counsellor) – July 15, 2020

Dick and Debbie Newbert  (Now having walked 140 miles) –  July 10, 2020

Collecting School Supplies for the William Dick School

Despite the fact teh Club is now meeting soely via Zoom and the status of the start of the school year in Philadlephia, members, under the dedicated organization of Alan Agree, have been collecting hundreds of dollars worth of school supplies which will be delivered to the Williasm Dick School this coming week. 

We are well aware that many school systems are ill-equipped due to an uprecedented lack funding stemming from the COVID-19 fallout … and those in the most economically-challenged section of Philadelphia being impacted the hardest.  Our hope is that our donations will provide some relief and possibly free up other funds which otherwise would hav eto be committed to purchasing supplies.

A specail thanks to Jerry Redington and his $100 cash donation for supplies,

Nancy and Alan Agree

Dick and Deb Newbert

Bruce and Mona Klugman

Bob and Denise Morris

Irv and Wendy Perlstein

Lou Hatfield, Larry Jaffe

and a special shout out to Gary Smelcer, from Bucks County Comunity College, for his very generous donations.

Alan and Gary behind the masks

and Ira and Robin Sherman. Ira is now leading the "Get the Lead Out" competition, having donated 2,000 pencils … or, as Alan put it, he is Chief Pencil Pusher.

Ira loading more pencils into Alan's car

Christina Finello – Democratic Candidate for Congress Joined Today’s Meeting

Christina Finello, Democratic candidate for Congress in Pennsylvania's 1st Congressional District,

and would be the district's first woman to hold the seat if elected.

Christina is a 5th generation Pennsylvanian, born in Bristol, raised in Warminster, and now lives in Ivyland with her husband, Todd, and our two daughters, Katie and Nora.

In telling her story, she related how, "Growing up in a large Irish-Italian, Catholic family right here in Bucks County taught me the value of service and hard work. My parents gave their all to provide for our family. Sometimes, that meant Dad was working two jobs. And after 42 years of work in the title insurance business, Mom recently retired. Through it all, my parents always found time to volunteer in our community, whether through coaching soccer, playing an active role at our church, or serving as a local union representative. “Unto whom much is given, much is required,” they always taught me.

After earning a joint law degree and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Villanova Law and Drexel University, I took an extended internship at a federal correctional facility in Missouri, interviewing and performing psychological evaluations on some of the most violent and hardened prisoners in our federal system. Instead of pursuing a career at a big corporate law firm or health care company after graduate school, I returned home to Pennsylvania because I wanted to help the community I loved.

I’ve spent the last 10 years working to improve government systems for care delivery as Deputy Director of the Bucks County Department of Housing and Human Services and working with the Philadelphia Veterans Court, connecting our region’s veterans with high-quality services. I’ve served on the board of Alpha Bravo Canine, where I helped connect veterans with combat-related injuries with well-trained service dogs, and since 2017 I have served as the only Democrat on the 7-member elected Ivyland Borough Council. I also currently serve my community on the Nativity of Our Lord’s school advisory board and the YMCA of Bucks County’s Central Bucks Regional Advisory Board.

I’ve learned that I have a knack for fixing what’s broken. I’m running for Congress because Washington is broken, and we can’t change our politics until we change the people we send there. I’m determined to go to Washington to find real solutions for our problems and to fight for our district’s families every day."

She beleives that her opponent, although not an ideologue, bucks his party's line on minor issues or those where his vote is otherwise meaaningless.  However, when it comes to thsoe issues on whcih Christina feels most passionate, the incumbent falls in line with President Trump and his party leadership.

Her views on specific issues, she favors (a) improving and expanding the Affordable Care Act by providng a public option which would provide both quality and affordable care, (b) lowering the prices for prescription drugs, (c) proving a pth to citienship for DACA individual, whom she knws hav enever knwn any country but ours, (d) providng better training and deescallaiton techniques for police department … and specifically opposes defunding them, (e) reasoned as opposed to the present emotionaland reactive foreign policies, (f) reengagement with our historical allies, (g) reaching out to all parties in the Middle East to deescallate tensiona and trying to bring the parties together (h) supports expanded opportunities for voter participation, including mail-in balloting which she beleives is safe and contests Trumps claims of enormous voter fraud and (i) returning our federal government to operating as the constitution envisioned, with COngress having responsibel oversight over the extecutive and legislation replsce government by executive order.

Going further …

Healthcare You Can Afford

Reducing the Cost of Premiums and Prescription Drugs

We should strengthen the Affordable Care Act, not destroy it. That’s why I support creating a non-profit public option to compete with for-profit insurance companies so we can bring down the costs for everyone. We need to change the law to allow Medicare to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices while also allowing the safe reimportation of prescription drugs from Canada.

Protecting People with Pre-Existing Conditions

I will do everything I can to protect the Affordable Care Act from Republicans who are intent on gutting protections for people with pre-existing conditions. The fact is that Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress continue to try to undermine these protections on behalf of the insurance industry – and it’s wrong. In Congress, I’ll do everything in my power to stand up to them.

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment

We must do more to prioritize mental health and combat substance abuse. Accessible affordable healthcare for mental health and substance use is critical if we want people to have healthy lives. Restricting access or making it more costly will do nothing to quell the opioid epidemic, reduce the suicide rate, or curtail the surging rates of depression and anxiety in our teens.

We need to treat mental health and substance use with the same level of care and resources as we treat physical health, and we need to make sure insurance coverage is available for mental healthcare and substance use treatment the same way it is for other types of healthcare.

The Affordable Care Act and the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act have helped move us in the right direction, but there is much Congress can and should do to hold insurance companies accountable for providing full coverage for mental and physical health.

Advocating for Women’s Healthcare

We must end the attack on women’s healthcare in America. We must do everything we can in this moment to stand up for women’s healthcare, protect Planned Parenthood, and ensure a woman’s privacy to make decisions for herself. I would support legislation to increase access to contraception and would oppose efforts to defund organizations that provide critical healthcare options to women.

Respecting the Dignity of Work

Fair Wages

Despite a healthy job market, the average wage in America today has the same purchasing power it did forty years ago. In America today, a minimum wage worker makes less than $16,000 a year, which is below the poverty line for a family of three. But at the same time, a CEO was paid a $129 million salary in recent years – that’s not acceptable. We know that raising the minimum wage will stimulate consumer spending, growing the economy and creating more opportunity. Unfortunately, our federal government has failed to raise the minimum wage in over a decade. It’s time to raise the wage. I support reinstating the Obama-era overtime rules that would raise the wages of 8.2 million Americans. And I believe we need to strengthen unions and wage boards because workers who bargain collectively earn roughly 14 percent an hour more than those who don’t.

Protecting Workers and New Skills Training

We must protect and strengthen the hand of workers in a changing and more automated economy. That means passing a law guaranteeing 12 weeks of paid family leave and allowing workers to earn paid sick leave. It also means connecting workers to the jobs of today and tomorrow through robust skills training and apprenticeship programs and passing a law to make organizing a union fairer – including the prevention of employer interference. In Congress, I’ll fight to rollback Donald Trump’s assault on workers through rules promulgated by the National Labor Relations Board.

Making College More Affordable & Enhancing Skills

Easing the Burden on Students and Families

The college affordability crisis is growing in America and making a college education beyond the reach of too many while putting others under the weight of a lifetime of debt. Congress can and should do things to alleviate this financial crunch:

  • Double Pell Grant Awards
  • Free Community College
  • Restructured Students Loans and Repayment Plans
  • Lower Interest Rates on Student Loans

Connecting Skills and Work

Perhaps nothing is more important in this changing economy than new skills training for workers and matching workers skills with the work of the future. We need to enhance apprenticeship programs, partnerships between employers, community colleges and trade centers, and invest in technical education programs in high schools.

Tackling Our Climate Crisis

Invest in Alternative Energy

It’s time to make historic investments in alternative energy, including wind, solar, and other types of energy sources that end our reliance on fossil fuels.

Rejoin the International Climate Agreement

Donald Trump was wrong when he had America abandon the Paris Climate Agreement. In Congress, I will push for the United States to rejoin the historic agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions that are threatening our planet’s future.

Reinstate the Obama Clean Power Rules & Other Regulatory Measures

We must reinstate the Obama clean power rules that Donald Trump abandoned and reenact the many other rules governing harmful pollution like pesticides, toxic substances, as well as our air and water.

Protecting Our Communities

Common Sense Background Checks

In Congress, I will work hard until common-sense background checks on gun purchases becomes the law of the land. We’ve lost too many innocent children and fellow citizens to senseless gun violence and mass shootings; we no longer feel safe in places of worship, grocery stores, or in the schools we send our children off to each day.

Ban Military-Style Assault Weapons

We must ban the sale of military-style assault weapons. These weapons are designed to kill a large number of people in a short period of time. They are weapons of war, not recreational devices used to hunt.

Prevent Domestic Abusers from Having Guns

In Congress, I will work to pass a federal law to prevent dangerous domestic abusers from owning guns. We cannot wait any longer.

Defending Equality

Reverse President Trump’s Attacks on the LGBTQ+ Community

After years of progress we are seeing a scary rollback in LGBTQ+ protections, and a rising tide of intolerance, homophobia and transphobia. Simply put, transgender Americans should be able to serve our county openly on the armed forces. LGBTQ+ couples should be free to adopt children without discrimination. The Department of Education should protect LGBTQ+ students against harassment. Christina will actively work in congress to restore the rights that Donald Trump’s Administration has stripped from the LGBTQ+ community.

Equality in Housing

In far too many states landlords can discriminate against potential tenants based off sexuality or gender identity. Federal legislation is necessary to ban such discriminatory actions.

Equality of Employment

No one should face fear or discrimination in the workplace based off of their gender identity or sexuality. Christina will actively support legislation to make illegal any discrimination in employment against the LGBTQ+ community.

Marriage Equality

In 2015 the Supreme Court decided that every American had the right to marriage, no matter their sexual orientation. Christina will vigorously oppose any effort by the legislative or executive branches to counteract that decision.

A Safer Country and World

Restore Diplomacy

Donald Trump’s assault on diplomacy has created a crisis in the State Department, led to the coddling of dictators, and brought us near the brink of war. We must restore our diplomatic corps and our diplomacy around the world.

Prevent Iran from Getting a Nuclear Weapon

We must do everything we can to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.

Look After Our Troops and Our Veterans

In Congress, I’ll be a champion of our military troops and their families, as well as our nation’s veterans. We must improve veteran’s healthcare, education and skills training.

Restoring Our Democracy

Protect Everyone’s Right to Vote

The right to vote is the backbone of our democracy, and it’s under assault by Republicans determined to carve up an electorate that’s favorable to them. That’s why I support a New Voting Rights Act of the 21st Century that will protect everyone’s right to vote.

Overturn Citizens United

I support a constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizens United ruling to end dark money’s influence on our elections. Our leaders in Washington should answer to the people they have been elected to serve, not the corporations and big donors bankrolling their re-election campaigns.

Strengthen Election Security

We need to pass election security legislation, such as the Election Security Act, which would provide grants to states for cyber-security election protection. Russia’s continued interference in our elections is proof of the urgency of this legislation.

K-12 Education

Your ZIP Code Should Not Determine Your Quality of Education

Adequate funding of our schools is paramount regardless of where you live. We must properly compensate our teachers and support staff. We need to review how funding formulas are structured and whether they promote equity.

Increase Funding for STEM and Special Education

There is an increasing need for quality education of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Continued investment in STEM is necessary to cultivate critical thinking and produce the next generation of innovators. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a vital service for our citizens with intellectual disabilities, and I would support legislation to make sure it is fully funded and essential protections that have been stripped away are restored.

Promote the Utilization of Technical Schools

The path to self-sufficiency is different for every student. Tech schools provide hands-on training to individuals. It is never too early to introduce our students to the technical and trade fields to put them on a path to success after high school and prepare them for today’s workforce. I would support funding streams that prioritize this important component of our education system.


Immigration Reform

We need comprehensive immigration reform that provides a clear path to citizenship. I would also support legislation that allows for effective border screening.

End Inhumane Policies

We must find ways to balance securing our borders with humane immigration policies that allow people to come here who will help our country prosper without ripping families apart. I’m the great-granddaughter of Irish and Italian immigrants. I, and many other folks in our community, are the beneficiaries of our country’s history of providing a home for immigrants who want to make a better life here for their families. We cannot forget that.

Club president, on behalf of the club, thanked Christian for her time and wished her well come November 3rd.