Micozzie, Chitwood talk Upper Darby on 'Live From the Newsroom'

They're not exactly the Odd Couple of Upper Darby, but Felix Unger and Oscar Madison have nothing on Tom Micozzie and Mike Chitwood.

Tom Micozzie is the mayor of Upper Darby. He is constantly singing the township's praises, and he's got the record to back it up, an impressive turnaround, in particular in the long-struggling 69th Street business district.

Mike Chitwood is the brash, media friendly top cop. They don't call Chitwood "Media Mike" for nothing. He never met a camera or a microphone he didn't like. He also does something a lot of cops don't do, he speaks his mind, and he puts his name beside it. He's a newsman's best friend, if not the mayor's.

You always know exactly where you stand with Chitwood. The same goes for criminals, much to their dismay.

Last night I had these two stalwarts of Upper Darby as my guests on our 'Live From the Newsroom' show. If you missed it, you can catch the replay here.

I owed the mayor this one. He's been wanting to come in and talk about the township's turnaround for awhile now. Last week he delivered his State of the Township address, so I offered an invitation to come in and do the show - and I specifically asked him to bring Superintendent Chitwood with him.

One of the things I wanted to talk about is the fine line these two guys have to walk every day. Micozzie is very sensitive when it comes to the township's image. That's part of his job as mayor.

So I asked him if he sometimes cringes when he hears some of the things Chitwood says, including all those famous descriptions of suspects, including the often-used "scumbag" tag.

Both men say they have their own jobs to do - and their own way of distinctive way of going about them.

I actually started the show by offering some kudos to the chief. This past weekend he marked 50 years in law enforcement. Don't worry, he has no thought of hanging up his badge, saying at one point he might want to stick around for 60 years. I also asked him if it bothers him at all that a lot of his colleagues in law enforcement - in particular here in Delco - are not especially enamored with the way he goes about his job and his media-friendly ways.

"Not in the least," he said, sounding very much like a man comfortable in his own skin.

Finally, I asked the mayor the same question I almost always ask public officials when I get the chance.

"Are you getting a fair shake in the newspaper? Are we fair?"

He gave me a very familiar response, one I've heard before.

Micozzie maintained that we report lots of crime news and bad stories in the township, but there's a lot of good things going on that don't get the same type of coverage.

He's right.

That's one of the reasons I had him on last night.

Upper Darby is on the rebound.

Micozzie and Chitwood are two of the big reasons why.


Chitwood has to learn how to apologize after he calls good people scumbags just because he heard one side of a junkies story
Chitwood has to learn how to apologize after he calls good people scumbags just because he heard one side of a junkies story