Former Lifeguard Makes Switch to Seasonal Officer in Harvey Cedars

May 31, 2017
Courtesy of: Harvey Cedars Police Department Brian Devlin

Before joining the Harvey Cedars Police Department in 2006, current chief Robert Burnaford had worked as a lifeguard in the borough. Brian Devlin, who was recently hired as a seasonal, or Class 1, officer, is taking a similar path. For the previous seven summers, he was a member of the town’s beach patrol.

“I worked with a lot of the seasonal officers as a lifeguard,” he said. “There are some similarities in that they interact with the public and also respond to emergencies.”

Devlin’s employment with the borough will end after Labor Day.

“Most of my work will be involved with enforcing local ordinances,” he said, “like making sure people don’t let their dogs run on the beach. I’ll also be watching for parking violations and minor infractions.”

He said that rather than drive patrol cars, seasonal officers get around on foot, or by bike or ATV.

“What I like about the police department here is that they have a good history of interacting with the residents and vacationers,” said Devlin, a 2012 graduate of Central Bucks High School West in Doylestown, Pa.

He recalled how Burnaford was once the lifeguard at his beach and was also his instructor in the Lifeguard in Training program.

“Working as a lifeguard was a great experience, but now I feel I’m ready to take the next step,” he said.

In August, Devlin said, he will be receiving a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Pennsylvania State University.

“While at Penn State, I worked as a member of the university’s auxiliary police,” he said.

Burnaford said Devlin “will do a great job.”

“He’s very familiar with the town, which is a big plus,” the chief said. “He spent many summers in Harvey Cedars, so I’m sure he knows a lot of people, and he’ll be good at dealing with the public.”

Devlin said he might pursue being a full-time, or Class II, officer. However, Burnaford said that job might not happen in Harvey Cedars.

“It’s going to depend on if there are openings, and right now we don’t have any,” he said. “It’s not unusual for seasonal officers to get full-time jobs with other departments. Several of our patrol officers started as seasonals in other towns. Brian looks like someone who will make a fine officer.”

— Eric Englund

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