FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Announcement of New Executive Director
Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania (April 2014) – The Pennsylvania Auto Theft Prevention Authority (ATPA) Board of Directors named Steven Wheeler as its new executive director. “Steve is a 33-year veteran of law enforcement and will bring excellent insight and experience to our mission of combatting auto theft,” said Ronald W. Kosh, ATPA chairman. “While we are pleased to have Steve come on board, we also offer our sincerest thanks to Cynthia Tolsma for the significant operational contributions she made to the Authority during her tenure – she leaves ATPA an even more efficient and effective organization than when she arrived.”
Wheeler has had a significant law enforcement career, beginning in 1981, with the Freeland Borough Police Department in Luzerne County. In 1984, he joined the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General as a narcotics agent and spent nearly 29 years at a variety of investigative, management, and executive positions with that agency, retiring in 2013 as the OAG’s Chief of Criminal Investigations. In that capacity, he led nearly 300 agents in the criminal law division investigating a variety of crimes including narcotics trafficking, public corruption, health care fraud, insurance fraud, environmental crimes, and other offenses. For the past 14 months, Wheeler served as Chief of Police in Middletown Borough, Dauphin County where he was responsible for instituting a variety of organizational reforms including policy reformulation and preparing that law enforcement agency for an accreditation review of its operations.
Wheeler will assume duties as ATPA’s executive director on May 1, 2014. Tolsma is leaving the post to return to the private sector as chief operating officer of a rapidly growing health care information management business. During the past three years, she has lead the Authority through an important organizational transformation that included strengthening its financial and management controls and improving the Authority’s agency grantee review process and accountability.
Created in 1994 by the state legislature, the Pennsylvania Auto Theft Prevention Authority provides grants statewide to a number of law enforcement agencies and prosecutors with the goal of reducing auto theft. The Authority has demonstrated significant and cost-effective success in achieving that objective, especially when compared to nearby states. During the past decade, the rate of auto theft in Pennsylvania has declined 52%. For more information about auto theft in Pennsylvania, county-by-county statistics, and theft prevention tips, visit www.watchyourcar.org.
Contact: Ronald W. Kosh, Board Chairperson
Pa. Auto Theft Prevention Authority