Upper Darby Mayor Barbara Keffer was arrested Thursday evening in Upper Chichester Township on suspicion of DUI after Keffer was seen driving on Route 322 with a flat tire and a broken headlight.
Keffer was given field sobriety tests on the scene. The police officer determined she was not capable of driving and arrested her. The Police Affidavit of Probable Cause in her arrest said, “defendant had slurred speech, glassy bloodshot eyes, had unstable balance and a strong odor of alcoholic beverage emanating from her breath…refused to be fingerprinted and photographed.”
She issued a statement that said: “On Thursday, January 26, 2023, I was involved in a traffic incident. I have been cooperating fully with local authorities in Upper Chichester. As Mayor of Upper Darby, I realize that I am held to a higher standard and I am prepared to face the consequences of my actions.
“I will be forever grateful that no one was physically harmed in this incident. I apologize to my family, my staff, and my constituents for this severe error in judgment.
“I realize that this may be hard for some to forgive but I ask that you look at my 9+ years of public service and not just this one terrible decision.
“I am seeking professional treatment for alcohol addiction.
Upper Chichester Police Affidavit of Probable Cause in Upper Darby Mayor Barbarann Keffer,DUI arrest “defendant had slurred speech,glassy bloodshot eyes,had unstable balance &a strong odor of alcoholic beverage emanating from her breath…refused to be fingerprinted&photographed.” pic.twitter.com/OW2AZFGr74
— Steve Keeley (@KeeleyFox29) January 27, 2023
“An estimated 15 million people struggle with an alcohol use disorder in the United States, but less than 10% of them receive treatment.
“I hope there are others who can learn from my experience and seek the help they need.
“I want to do well by the community and see Upper Darby grow and prosper. I want our community to be safer, cleaner, and full of opportunity.
“It’s why I ran for office, and why I am committed to getting the help I need to do just that.
“I am proud of my accomplishments over the last three years but must also acknowledge the stress of the constant personal attacks from those who do not share my vision for Upper Darby.
“My treatment plan includes finding healthy ways to handle these stressors so that I can continue to fulfill my promise to reform, reinvest, and revitalize Upper Darby.
“I want to thank those who have reached out to express their support and understanding during this difficult time.
“My Acting Co-Chief Administrative Officers, Alison Dobbins and Rita LaRue, continue to oversee day to day operations of the government. I have full confidence that they will ensure the smooth operation of Upper Darby Township,” she said.
“I can assure you that the government is operating as usual to serve the residents, businesses, and visitors of Upper Darby, with our administrative leadership and their team members focused on providing municipal services, programs, and activities to the community,” township Deputy Chief Administrative Officer Alison Dobbins said,
According to Delcotimes:
An armored police vehicle many in the township referred to as a tank has been sent west as administrators move to modernize the police department. But others, including the county’s Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 27, say it’s a move to defund the police.
In 2016, the Upper Darby Police Department acquired the SWAT International MaxPro MRAP Armored Vehicle through the 1033 program of the National Defense Authorization Act, which allows the U.S. Department of Defense to distribute excess equipment to local law enforcement authorities at little or no cost.
Upper Darby Mayor Barbarann Keffer said the township got the vehicle for free. It was reallocated through the program and sent to a police department in western Pennsylvania last week.
“The tank sort of symbolizes an overmilitarized police department,” Keffer, a Democrat, said, adding that it was unable to drive down half the streets in Upper Darby. She said her administration is working to modernize the police department.
The vehicle had its supporters, including Republican township Councilman Tom Wagner and the Delaware County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 27.
“It’s been a very useful vehicle,” Wagner said, adding it was recently used last week during Tropical Storm Isaias. “It was proven to be a useful vehicle in a natural emergency. (The police) used that vehicle to save people’s lives.”
UPDATE: Upper Darby Mayor Barbarann Keffer apologizes for traffic incident last week, saying she will seek treatment for alcohol addiction.
“As Mayor…I realize that I am held to a higher standard and I am prepared to face the consequences of my actions.” pic.twitter.com/swgtENYlTC
— Broad + Liberty (@BroadAndLiberty) January 30, 2023
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