Snow Emergency Ending

For Immediate Release:  January 27, 2015

Media Contact: Mike Alkhal, P.E, Director of Public Works – 610-865-7050

  City of Bethlehem snow emergency to end at 3:00p.m., Tuesday January 27, 2015

             The City of Bethlehem will end its snow emergency at 3:00p.m., today, January 27, 2015.

            With the lifting of the emergency, vehicles may park legally on snow emergency routes in the city after 3:00p.m. today. “I would like to thank the City residents for their cooperation, and I would like to commend the hard work of our city employees who effectively implemented this snow emergency” said Mayor Donchez.  “In dealing with the weather, and its unpredictability, it is better to error on the side of safety for our residents.”


For Immediate Release – January 26, 2015

Media Contact: Mike Alkhal – 484-357-7131

City of Bethlehem Declares Snow Emergency – Effective 7:00p.m.

City of Bethlehem Mayor Robert Donchez declared a snow emergency in Bethlehem effective 7p.m. today, Monday, January 26, 2015, until further notice.  Residents are advised to follow sign designations to allow for the removal of snow from city streets.

The declaration of emergency requires vehicles to be removed from city streets designated as snow emergency routes. As such, vehicles need to be removed from Bethlehem snow emergency routes by 7p.m. today to allow for the removal of snow by plows from curb-to-curb.

Vehicles not removed will be towed to allow for plowing.

One side of a snow emergency route is plowed at a time. Residents should check the signs posted along snow emergency routes to determine which side of the street – the even or odd — will be cleared first. Snow emergency operations will continue until both sides are cleared.

The Bethlehem Parking Authority also announced that the North Street and Walnut Street public parking garages, and street meters, will be free of charge for the duration of the snow emergency to accommodate parking needs. Vehicles must be removed from these locations as soon as the emergency is lifted.  Residents are asked not to park on public parking lots due to the need to plow these lots.

“I ask for your patience and cooperation during the City’s snow removal process.  Additionally, I would ask you to be vigilant and aid elderly residents regarding their immediate needs. Lastly, I ask residents to please aid in removing snow around fire hydrants.” Mayor Donchez stated.



JANUARY 26, 2015


In early January of 2015, Bethlehem Police received an anonymous tip from a citizen about a possible methamphetamine lab at 921 Main Street in the first floor apartment.  Acting on this information, the Bethlehem Police Vice Unit initiated an investigation and obtained probable cause for a search warrant.  This morning, 23 January 2015, at 6:55am, members of the Bethlehem Police Department’s Vice Unit and Street Crimes Unit and the Pennsylvania State Police Clandestine Laboratory Team served the search warrant at 921 Main Street, first floor apartment.  Three individuals were taken into custody without incident.  A John Dougherty (age 44), who is homeless, was found sleeping in his 2003 Ford Explorer that was parked to the rear of 921 Main Street.  A Kimberly Geertsema (age 46) and her 21 year old son, Kenneth Geertsema, were located inside 921 Main Street, first floor apartment.  The Pennsylvania State Police Clandestine Laboratory Team observed an active meth lab inside of the first floor apartment.  A second meth lab was located inside of the Dougherty’s vehicle.  Both meth labs were decontaminated and the chemicals and reagents were secured by the Pennsylvania State Police and safety removed from the scene.  A search was then conducted of the residence.  Located was approximately 8 grams of newly manufactured methamphetamine, worth a street value of 1,600 dollars, packaging material including a scale and plastic baggies and a variety of methamphetamine precursors, chemicals and reagent substances.  Kimberly Geertsema was charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession with the intent to deliver methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, 3 counts of operating a meth lab and illegal dumping of meth waste, reckless endangering another person, causing or risking a catastrophe and criminal conspiracy.  One of the counts of operating a meth lab and illegal dumping of meth material was for manufacturing methamphetamine near a school, as 921 Main Street was located in the vicinity of William Penn Elementary School and Lehigh Valley Children’s Centers Fowler Center Day Care.  Kimberly Geertsema was arraigned in front of Northampton County District Justice Roy Manwaring and committed to Northampton County Prison on 100,000 dollars.  John Dougherty had a Northampton County bench warrant for drug related charges and was taken into custody by the Northampton County Sheriff’s office and transported to Northampton County Prison.  Charges on John Dougherty are pending further investigation.  Kenneth Geertsema was released and charges are pending further investigation.



JANUARY 21, 2015


The Northeast Blockwatch meeting for tonight is going to be postponed due to BASD early dismissal.  School buildings will be closed this evening and all after school events are canceled.

The new meeting will be rescheduled to Tuesday January 27th at 7pm in the Northeast cafeteria.



JANUARY 12, 2015


The East Hills Neighborhood Block Watch will hold their next meeting Tuesday evening, Jan. 13th at 7:00 pm in the East Hills Middle School auditorium.  All neighbors of East Hills Middle School are invited.  City Councilman Eric Evans will be in attendance



JANUARY 9, 2015


With all that is going on around the world and in this country, the job of a law enforcement officer, no matter where you work, is demanding. We all know this and understand this when we take this job. We all know that there is good and evil in the world, and that our job is to protect the good, no matter where in the world or for what country you work for.


Mike Catania, Leading Senior Constable, Victoria Police, Special Operations Group, recently visited the Bethlehem Police Department. It was a pleasure having you visit us.

Officer Marks did receive your card and package. Thank you very much.

From the men and women of the Bethlehem Police Department, Thank You. You and your fellow Officers are always welcome here.

Please be careful and stay safe.


Mark A. DiLuzio

Chief of Police



JANUARY 7, 2015


On Tuesday evening, January 6, 2015, two Bethlehem Police Officers, along with City Firefighters, City Paramedics and Sands Security and staff members were presented with “The Heart Saver Hero Awards” at a Sands Casino Conference Room.

On October 4, 2014, the Officers along with Sands Personnel responded to the Casino to a cardiac arrest. The male suffered a full cardiac arrest. Emergency medical treatment was immediately started by all and the male was successfully resuscitated. The quick response and proficient resuscitation efforts awarded this male a second chance on life.


The elderly gentleman, who traveled here from out of town, thanked all the emergency service workers for saving his life. We wish him well and many happy years.

I would like to personally thank Officer Brian Phelps and Officer Wilfredo Cruz, the City Firefighters, City Paramedics and Sands Personnel for there quick response and actions that saved a human life. The primary job of a public safety officer, be it police, fire, EMS, or other, is the preservation of human life. All of you have lived up to that job thru your actions on October 4, 2014.

Thank you for a great job and service to the Community.



Mark A. DiLuzio

Chief of Police



JANUARY 5, 2014


On Sunday, January 4, 2015, at approximately 12:22 in the afternoon, the Bethlehem Police 911 Center received a call from a male who identified himself as EMANUEL COTTO. COTTO told the 911 Dispatcher that he had killed someone at 414 Fillmore Street, in the City of Bethlehem, Northampton County, Pennsylvania.

Police responded to the address and took COTTO into custody when he emerged from the house. COTTO was wearing an empty “knife sheath” on his waistband and had blood visible on his clothing and hands. COTTO told the Officers “my roommate is in there, but he is not alive, I took him out.”

Officers entered 414 Fillmore Street. A tactical knife with blood on it was observed inside the residence. Officers found a male deceased inside the residence.  The male had multiple stab wounds.

The Northampton County Coroners Office was notified and responded to the address. Northampton County Coroner Zachary Lysek ruled the manner of death to be Homicide and cause of death to be Multiple Stab Wounds. An autopsy was scheduled for Monday, January 5, 2015. The identity of the deceased male will be released by the Northampton County Coroner’s Office pending notification of next of kin.

On Sunday evening, at 10:00 pm, EMANUEL COTTO, age 25, of 414 Fillmore Street, Bethlehem, was arraigned by Detectives before Northampton County President Judge Stephen G. Baratta at the Northampton County Courthouse in Easton. Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli was present at the arraignment representing the Commonwealth. COTTO was charged with one count of Criminal Homicide. No Bail was set by Judge Baratta and COTTO was committed to Northampton County Prison pending Court action.

This is an active and ongoing investigation. Police are not looking for anyone else and there is no threat to the public. Bethlehem Police Detectives, assisted by the Northampton County District Attorney’s Office, are investigating.

If anyone has any information relative to this crime or the persons involved, please contact Detective Fabian Martinez at the City of Bethlehem Police Department at 610-997-7678 and/or 610-865-7187.

Thank You.

Mark A. DiLuzio

Chief of Police