BLAIR COUNTY, Pa (WTAJ) — The community is giving their response after the Chief of the Altoona Police Department announced her retirement Tuesday.
Chief Janice Freehling was the first woman to lead the city’s police department. She held her position as chief for 20 years and gave 44 years of service total.
Retired Altoona Deputy Police Chief, Mitch Cooper, who worked with Chief Freehling for years said during her time she was supportive of community relation programs like the Crime Watch Program, pursued grants such as the grant from PPCD that enabled the police department to start the Directed Parol Program in the mid-2000s, which he said was responsible for 75% reduction of violent crime in the city of Altoona.
Under her leadership in 2019, the department introduced the use of body cameras.
He said she has many more accomplishments and he is thankful for the opportunity to work with her.
“She cares very much for this community and for the officers of the Altoona police department, I congratulate her and I wish her nothing but the best and I will be forever grateful for the opportunity she gave me,” Cooper said.
Cooper said whoever fills Chief Freehling’s position will have some big shoes to fill. Her official last day is set for March 1st.