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First woman to lead Solebury PD starts next month

Kelley Warner replaces the retiring Dominick Bellizzie


Bob Dylan had it right — the times they are a-changing, especially in Solebury where Police Chief Dominick Bellizzie retires in July 7 after 18 years and his replacement — Kelley Warner, a 26-year resident of Buckingham — will become the township’s first female police chief.

Currently chief of police in Harrisonburg, Va., Warner has more than 30 years of police experience. She has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in criminal justice, has served at the FBI National Academy and as deputy chief of the Abington Township Police Department in Montgomery County.

On Tuesday the Solebury Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve her employment contact, with a starting date of around July 8.

“She has a real understanding of Solebury Township, picking apples at Solebury Orchards, watching her son playing baseball right here at Laurel Park and biking our scenic roads for many years,” said supervisor Chair Mark Baum Baicker.

He said the township reviewed 35 resumes for the position.

“Saying the search was exhaustive is very much an understatement,” he said. “‘Exhausting’ might be a better descriptor…but in the end of the day, the search group was convinced we had the right person.”

The board approved a suggestion by Baum Baicker that the next supervisors meeting on July 16 be referred to as Solebury Police Appreciation Night when it will swear in Warner as its new chief, honor outgoing Chief Bellizzie as well as Chief Kevin Edwards of New Hope for his 30+ years of service.

In other matters, the board:

• Reported that the Zoning Hearing Board has received an application from the Hallmark Building Group to build single-unit housing on the Rice’s Market property at 6326 and 6344 Greenhill Road;

• Voted to name the township’s Route 202 property Solebury Green as recommended by the Parks and Recreation Board;

• Heard a report from Jessica Ray, of the Center for Environmental Studies at Raritan Valley Community College, that the overall deer population density in Solebury decreased 4% between 2023 and 2024, from 50 deer per square mile to 48. A total of 1,276 deer were observed across the 26.8-square-mile survey area;

• Appointed Brian MacNichol as alternate member to the Zoning Hearing Board and Eugene Lewis as associate member to the Environmental Advisory Council.

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