Much has taken place recently in Falls Township, including the resignation of a supervisor, the remembrance of a K-9 officer, the announcement of a new eatery coming to the area, and thousands raised at a charity event.
Supervisor Jeff Rocco, of Fallsington, who has served on the board of supervisors since 2012, recently announced his resignation, leaving the five-member board with a vacancy. His term was to continue through Dec. 31, 2023. According to Rocco, a career promotion made it difficult to juggle his work and board responsibilities. The Pennsbury High School alum has worked for more than two decades in the information technology industry.
“I totally underestimated how much more demanding this new position would be, and how much more focus, commitment and dedication it would require,” said Rocco, who served as secretary. “This position also requires some travel, and I would miss our next three (September, October and November) board of supervisors meetings. The bottom line is there is just no way I can make both work.”
The board formally accepted Rocco’s resignation during the monthly meeting on Sept. 20. His replacement is slated to be appointed at the Oct. 18 meeting. Resumes and letters of interest for the vacant seat are being accepted through the end of business on Oct. 11 via email to township manager Matthew Takita at email@example.com, or in-person at the municipal building, 188 Lincoln Highway, Suite 100, Fairless Hills.
Supervisor vice chairman Jeff Boraski credited Rocco with many achievements, including the decision to switch all street lights to LED.
“That was all 100 percent him,” said Boraski. “I can’t even say how many thousands of dollars he saved the township.”
Rocco said he’s proud of what he accomplished during his 10-year tenure on the board.
“One thing that makes it easier stepping down is knowing what a great team we currently have in place,” Rocco said. “I know, with or without me, you guys will make the right decisions. The pleasure to serve on the board with you has been all mine, and I will be forever grateful for this opportunity.”
Meanwhile, at the Falls Township Police Department, Cpl. Steve Langan heartbreakingly said “goodbye” to Tag, his four-legged K-9 partner of 11 years who recently died. The 14-year-old Belgian Malinois stole Langan’s heart and always had his back. Tag even accompanied the Langan family on annual vacations to Myrtle Beach and once to Disney World.
“Everybody’s lost a pet, but he was my partner,” said Langan. “He would’ve done anything for me. It’s a little bit harder to explain. He would’ve given his life for me without any question.”
Tag served with Langan from 2008 until his retirement in August 2019. He continued to live at home with the Langan family until his recent passing. Langan shared that Tag didn’t have any major health problems. Rather, he was “just getting older.”
Over the years, Tag saved several lives, including Langan’s. At a roadway stop where Langan was attempting to take a suspect into custody, the man resisted arrest and initiated a physical altercation. Tag immediately came running. Additionally, Tag’s trusty nose has helped police find countless amounts of illegal drugs. In one instance, he recovered seven kilos of cocaine from underneath the passenger floor of a vehicle stopped in Bensalem Township.
Langan, who got his start as a Temple University police officer 25 years ago, was new to K-9 policing when he met Tag 13 years ago. The pair trained for two months together in Canada before Tag’s official enlistment with the Falls Township Police Department began in June 2008. Two weeks after Langan and Tag returned home, Langan’s daughter was born. She grew up with Tag, even using him as a guide when she learned to crawl and later walk.
“I was very close with him. He was part of my family,” said Langan. “He was a great partner and friend.”
In other Falls news, it was recently announced that a new drive-thru restaurant is slated to open by spring 2022 on Commerce Boulevard where the shuttered Macaroni Grill is currently located. Once open, the 3,329-square-foot Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers will employ approximately 50 workers.
The supervisors granted preliminary and final land development approval for the demolition of Macaroni Grill, which has been vacant since March 2020, and construction of the upcoming location of the Louisiana-based chain, which operates more than 500 locations throughout the country.
“All of us are happy to see that building get filled,” said Boraski. “It’s a really nice location.”
Also in Falls, the township’s fourth annual Touch a Truck event, held on Sept. 18, raised $13,000, which will go to The Barkann Family Healing Hearts Foundation ($11,000) and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia ($2,000).
Samantha Bambino can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org