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Upper Makefield police sergeant tapped to lead Bucks County Rangers


For 26 years, Sgt. Patrick Durkin has faithfully protected and served the people of Upper Makefield through his work with the township police department.

Now, he’s ready to extend his focus to the whole of Bucks County.

Durkin has accepted the job of Chief of the Bucks County Rangers. He’s expected to be officially appointed in January.

At a public meeting on Nov. 8, the Upper Makefield Board of Supervisors regretfully accepted Durkin’s resignation and wished him the best. “We thank Sgt. Durkin for his great service to the township,” said Supervisor Tim Thomas.

With the rangers, Durkin will be replacing current chief Steve Mawhinney, who is retiring, officials said.

Mawhinney is a longtime lawman in Bucks County, having previously served as chief of Langhorne Borough Police, as well as with departments in Tullytown, Bristol Borough and Bristol Township. His law enforcement career has spanned over 40 years.

Durkin started with the New Hope Borough Police Department and joined Upper Makefield in 1997, rising to sergeant in 2006, officials said. As chief ranger, he’ll be leading a law enforcement entity responsible for keeping folks safe on more than 9,000 acres of county parks, recreation sites, and historic destinations.

Upper Makefield Police Chief Mark Schmidt said Durkin is well-suited for the ranger job.

Schmidt said Durkin has experience in all manner of police work, from patrol and responding to a wide range of calls, to supporting DARE initiatives, community policing, serving as a firearms instructor, and previously being part of a county-wide SWAT team. He’s also an ace at the more mundane but pivotal administrative aspects of police work, like scheduling, said Schmidt.

“He’s handled every conceivable type of call,” said Schmidt. “And he has a real forte for administration. He’ll be a great asset to the county. We’ll miss Pat.”

Durkin’s official last day in Upper Makefield is Dec. 31. Schmidt said the department aims to fill the vacancy.

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