York City Council confirms Muldrow as top cop

Logan Hullinger
York Dispatch
York City School Police Chief Michael Muldrow has been tapped by Mayor Michael Helfrich to be the new York City Police Commissioner.
Tuesday, October 6, 2020.
John A. Pavoncello photo

Mike Muldrow will officially serve as the York City Police Department's next police commissioner after City Council on Tuesday unanimously confirmed his nomination. 

The council's vote came about two weeks after Mayor Michael Helfrich nominated Muldrow to replace Osborne "Moe" Robinson III, who the mayor announced Sept. 29 would resign.

At Tuesday's meeting, council members cited a wave of emails from residents in support of Muldrow's appointment before casting their votes and congratulating the new police commissioner.

"It was heartwarming to hear from so many people so many nice words about Mr. Muldrow," said City Council President Henry Nixon.

Robinson's abrupt resignation, which came with few details, became a large point of contention between the mayor and City Council members.

“I just want to say that this is the single most important vote in my short tenure in serving the people of York City," council member Lou Rivera said of Muldrow's confirmation. "And I'm so honored and proud to be part of this."

Muldrow, who has served as the chief of York City School District Police for 12 years, will be a sworn officer in the police department effective Wednesday, according to the resolution.

His annual salary will be $110,000.

Muldrow's public safety career began as a corrections officer at York County Prison before he joined the York City Police Department in 2000.

Over the years, he also has served as a federal officer for the U.S. Department of Defense Police Department and as an officer at police departments throughout the county.

“I’m looking forward to moving forward and doing what we can to get some great work done,” Muldrow said.

Last year, Mudrow was a finalist to replace former York City Police Chief Troy Bankert, Helfrich has said. 

But Robinson, who ended up only holding the job as York City's police commissioner for less than a year, was said to be hand-picked by Bankert.

Council members attacked Helfrich earlier this month because they had not been briefed about the circumstances surrounding Robinson's resignation.

Helfrich, however, said city officials were busy hashing out a separation agreement, which has language permitting Robinson to be paid his $115,000 salary through Jan. 15.

After about a week of gripes from the City Council, the mayor and Robinson put out a joint statement saying the departure was a "strategic career move" and Robinson had no bad blood with the department.

In the statement, the mayor and Robinson also fought back allegations that the police commissioner had been fiscally irresponsible. Immediately following Robinson's resignation, Nixon was among those who claimed Robinson had mismanaged funds. 

Helfrich said claims such as Nixon's were baseless. 

But on Tuesday, all members of the City Council and Helfrich released a statement about Robinson's departure.

"There have been rumors and speculations surrounding the resignation of Police Commissioner Robinson," the statement reads. "We stand before you united to ease the community’s concerns."

Although short-lived, Robinson's tenure overlapped with nationwide racial unrest that also left a mark in York City.

Robinson was active and vocal during local protests, speaking directly to protesters about his own experiences with discrimination as a Black man.

— Logan Hullinger can be reached at lhullinger@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD