Friday, August 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Gallen takes over as chief Montco detective

NORRISTOWN Monday was the first full day for Montgomery County's new chief detective.

Samuel J. Gallen was sworn in Friday by County Judge Wendy Demchick-Alloy. He succeeds Edmund H. Justice, who retired last week.

Gallen's first job in law enforcement was in 1979, as a dispatcher for the Hatboro Police Department. He moved up through the ranks until he was named chief in 1990.

In 2002, he joined the county detective bureau, which is run by the District Attorney's Office. Four years later, Gallen was promoted to deputy chief county detective, and he has been in that position since getting the bureau's top spot.

While serving in those positions, Gallen also earned associate's and bachelor's degrees.

He takes over a law enforcement agency that, along with the District Attorney's Office, has come under a spotlight for its mishandling of criminal charges against former Montgomery County Republican leader Robert J. Kerns.

The charges were dismissed last month after District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said her office, including the detective bureau, had misread a lab report that was central to its case. Ferman is conducting an internal review into how the mistake was made.

Gallen's former post of deputy chief detective will be filled by Lt. Mark Bernstiel, Ferman said.

- Carolyn Davis

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