Name: Ray Seiling
Town in which you live: Bethlehem
Current Job: Downtown Police Officer
How long have you worked for the Borough of Emmaus? Since 2006
What did you do before you became our Downtown Officer?
"I was in route sales for almost 14 years selling bubble gum machines and novelty machines with plastic capsules with toys in them. My son is a police officer in Whitehall, and when I met my wife, she lived on Harrison Street. She got one of those fliers in the mail for upcoming summer programs. Park police were wanted, so I went and applied, was hired, and after I got hired for that, the downtown beat officer’s position became available a couple months later in 2007. I was asked if I was interested, the police chief and sergeant interviewed me, and I accepted the position. I’ll be here four years this June 26."
What are your "parking pet peeves?"
"People who live in the area, in the apartments, and people who work in the stores who take up all the parking spaces for the general public and customers. Sometimes they carry on if they get a ticket. You just do what you have to do."
Tell us about the strangest parking job you have ever seen.
"When it snows, the people, instead of pulling in all the way, block the whole street. The big trucks try to come down and can’t make it through. It’s kind of crazy."
What do you like best about your job?
"Meeting the general public, helping them out the best I can. Here at the beauty shop (The Hair Loft on the Triangle), I treat the customers really decent. If a lady goes in to get her hair styled, she might be in there two to four hours, whereas a man might only take a half hour. I go in to check randomly to see if anyone is parked out there. I’ll tell them not to worry about it because they’re patronizing the business. They have about 20 steps going up there, and there’s elderly clientele going in there. It’s just common courtesy. I try to treat people the way they should be treated."
What's your favorite time of year to work and why?
"The fall and at Christmas. Everybody’s in a good mood for Christmas shopping. The fall foliage is nice."
Where do you eat when you're working?
"Traub’s hot dogs, just about every day. I get BBQs and a Traub’s dog with the works."
What do you do on your day off?
"I scrapbook. I collect articles out of newspapers. I’ve been doing it since grade school. Fires, anything police-related and fire truck pictures. Right now I’m up to my fourth scrapbook for 2011. I have about 200 total. I put them in manila folders with the year. I go from book one and usually end at about book eight or nine by the end of the year. I get out of town papers. Wilkes-Barre, Shamokin, Mt. Carmel area. I’m originally from Philadelphia, but I just love the coal region. My route sales took me up into that area and it’s a nice area."
What's one thing that no one knows about you that you wish people knew about you?
"I volunteer for a fire company – Hanover Township, Lehigh County. I’ve been a fire policeman for 25 years. I enjoy helping the general public."
Ray continued, "I also have another job I go to. I work for a local township doing basically the same thing I do here. It’s called code enforcement. I issue parking tickets just like I do over here, but there we’re in a car so we have four wheels."
Have you ever taken a sick day?
"A couple times. I’ll work on my deathbed if I have to. There was a time back in January when I had bronchitis, so I had to call in sick. There’s no fill-in, I’m it!"
What's the best advice you've ever received?
"My mother told me years and years ago, 'Always tell the truth and you’ll always be happy.' I try to be upfront and honest with people. That’s the way I am."