Kracyla hired as new Middletown police chief

MIDDLETOWN — The Town of Middletown officially announced news Friday that had been rapidly spreading elsewhere for several days:

Robert Kracyla, a local resident with 37 years of law enforcement experience at various agencies with a multitude of high level duties, will become the town’s next police chief, effective March 4.

Earlier in the week, Chief Kracyla’s upcoming departure from the Seaford Police Department was described as a chance to be closer to his family with an opportunity nearer to his home.

He’d made the hour-plus commute to Sussex County to lead the department since last April.

“As an active member of the Middletown community, I look forward to establishing increased visibility in the community and maintaining active community partnerships,” said Kracyla, father to five sons, including an eighth-grader and Middletown High senior.

Middletown’s new police chief will be sworn in at 8:30 p.m. on March 4 at the town hall.

“He is going to be a terrific asset to our police department and I look forward to working with him,” Mayor Ken Branner said.

Previous chief Michael Iglio retired on Jan. 10, and Capt. William Texter has led the 36-officer, 6-civilian department on an interim role since. Middletown’s current population is 21,180, with projections of significant growth in the next five years.

According to town spokeswoman Kristen Krenzer, “The position was advertised within the Delaware police network and in-house. Interviews took place in January and February and background checks and pre-employment testing have been ongoing.”

Information on any other potential candidates wasn’t released by the town’s human resources department for privacy reasons, Ms. Krenzer said.

The Middletown police force debuted in 2007 and the current headquarters at 130 Hampden Road was dedicated on Feb. 28, 2009. Henry “Hank” V. Tobin III was the first chief from July 2007 to June 2014, followed by Daniel Yeager (June 2014 to August 2017) and Iglio (August 2017 to last month.)

Chief Kracyla’s career began with a three-year stint as a Dover PD patrol officer, followed by 27 years as a Delaware State Police trooper. His tenure there included more than 23 years as a Special Operations Response Team member and leader.

Also, the new Middletown chief was a FBI Federal Task Force officer for 10 years and then Detail Leader of then Delaware Gov. Jack Markell’s executive protection team.

After leaving DSP in 2012, Chief Kracyla served as the Deputy Director of the Delaware Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement and graduated from the FBI National Academy.

Chief Kracyla’s time in Seaford was focused on increasing police visibility and building strong community relationships, which he aims to continue in Middletown.

“He established the first Citizens Police Academy and Youth Academy, and forged a partnership with the Boys and Girls Club,” according to the news release.

“He said he worked to proactively fight the opioid epidemic through prevention and enforcement, and worked to establish a social media presence in the community.”

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