Allentown, PA – Perkasie Borough Police Chief Steven Hillias died unexpectedly of natural causes on June 16.
The 49-year-old police chief passed away at Lehigh Valley Hospital – Cedar Crest after suffering an unspecified medical emergency, WFMZ reported.
“It is with great sadness and regret that we share that Police Chief Steven Hillias of the Perkasie Borough Police Department passed away suddenly today,” the Perkasie Borough Police Department (PBPD) said in a Facebook post. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very difficult time.”
Chief Hillias joined PBPD in 1997 after graduating from Penn State University, according to his obituary.
He attended the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Academy in 2007, and later earned a master’s degree in criminal justice from DeSales University.
He had served as PBPD’s police chief since 2014, but was the department’s interim chief for a year prior to that, the News-Herald reported.
"Every day has been very interesting and challenging at the same time, which I like," Chief Hillias told the News-Herald at the time. "I have been with Perkasie for 17 years and since I started, no two days were ever the same. I don't like for work to be stagnant and routine; that's part of why I was initially drawn to law enforcement."
PBPD Secretary Donna Radosky said that Chief Hillias was a well-liked member of the department who made a difference during his tenure, The Morning Call reported.
“He was a fun person, too,” Radosky added. “He did a great job for this department.”
"We're devastated," Perkasie Police Sergeant Russ Closs told the News-Herald. "He was too young to have something like this happen."
Sgt. Closs described Chief Hillias as “an open-door kind of guy” who was always willing to offer guidance and advice to his officers, The Morning Call reported.
Perkasie Mayor John Hollenbach said that he and Chief Hillias’ relationship went beyond their work partnership.
“We were also friends,” the mayor explained. “I think the officers in the department would say the same thing.”
Chief Hillias had a particular interest in the rehabilitation of juvenile offenders, Hollenbach added.
“He was always ready to go into schools and bring people together to talk about what we could to help the community,” the mayor said.
Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub said that Chief Hillias will be remembered for his kindness and his positive demeanor.
“I really think that that’s what made him a great chief,” Weintraub noted. “He understood the humanity of the job.”
Chief Hillias leaves behind his wife of 23 years, Tracy, as well as his children, Michael and Lauren, according to his obituary.
He is also survived by his mother and his sisters.
Chief Hillias was laid to rest on June 22.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Perkasie Borough Police Chief Steven Hillias, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.