DUBOIS – A group of citizens who support the Just for Jesus Challenge Homeless Outreach sought an apology over police behavior from members of DuBois City Council on Monday night.
Located at 14530 state Route 28 in Brockway, the ministry is under the operation of Bishop Jack Wisor of the First Apostles’ Doctrine Church.
During the meeting, citizens – on Wisor’s behalf – brought up a call between Wisor and DuBois Police Chief Blaine Clark and Assistant Police Chief Justin Roy.
Neither Wisor nor Roy or Clark were present at the meeting. Bob Buddenbohn acted as the group’s spokesperson, and requested an apology due to behavior on the part of Clark and Roy.
Buddenbohn said because of how Wisor was treated, he wouldn’t accept homeless persons from DuBois, unless they were recommended by City Manager John “Herm” Suplizio.
“We’re very, very sad and disappointed that members of your police department feel they can treat a man of God that way,” said Buddenbohn.
During the meeting, both sides agreed that when Wisor called the police station, there was reportedly a heated exchange between Wisor and Roy. Clark interceded, then terminated the call.
According to Right to Know documents read by Councilman Edward Walsh, Wisor had contacted the station to inform police that his daughter had passed away.
It was noted that at the time, police had been in communication with her for official purposes. Per the documents, Roy said he was “sorry to hear that” to which Wisor replied: “I’ll make you sorry.”
Buddenbohn, however, claimed Roy also told Wisor “he had a lot of nerve” because he was responsible for the problems caused by the people he’d brought to his area from out of state.
Councilwoman Diane Bernardo then asked why Wisor wasn’t at the meeting, and Buddenbohn said he was at home because “this isn’t a place he should be.”
Bernardo said while details of the situation may be true, Buddenbohn was there presenting “second-hand” information and “demanding apologies.”
An apology wasn’t given at the meeting. Both council and Buddenbohn said they stood by their respective individuals, as they didn’t have any first-hand knowledge of what had happened.
When Buddenbohn commented the police “were in the wrong” and should have given leniency to a mourning father, council defended Clark, saying his actions were due to threatening behavior.
Suplizio indicated he was OK with being the point of contact for referrals to Just for Jesus. However, Buddenbohn emphasized that it wasn’t Wisor’s desire for the process to work this way.
Council terminated the discussion after a debate with Buddenbohn over whether it was proper to say the ministry had helped 113 people from DuBois since 2005 as well as over future requirements.
In other business, another group of citizens asked council what could be done with the fire siren at the former Friendship Fire Company building.
They said after fire equipment and apparatus had been relocated, the siren was left behind but is still used. This, residents said, has affected property values, and people don’t want to live nearby.
Following the discussion, Suplizio requested that Fire Chief Joe Mitchell speak with the fire departments for their input on the situation.
Council also agreed to contact the Sandy Township municipal building committee and renew its offer for a joint municipal building in light of the joint sewer agreement.