James Gress was born and raised in Bethlehem PA. He graduated from Bethlehem Catholic High School in 1984. Being involved in public safety during his high school years, James had a great interest in policing. He graduated from Allentown Police Academy in 1987. He attended DeSales University for Criminal Justice Administration. James has worked for a few different police agencies before coming to Allentown Police Department in 2002.
James was initially assigned to the Patrol division, starting out with the 3rd platoon. In early 2005, he was transferred to Criminal investigations Division, working as a detective. In the Fall of 2007, he was transferred to the Office of Police Administration to oversee the department’s compliance to the Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation Program. He also began to acquire federal and state funding opportunities for the use of technology and additional officers within the department. He joined the Crisis Negotiation Team in June of 2010 and worked through the ranks to become the Commander of the team in December of 2016, where he currently remains.
In February 2011, he was promoted to rank of Sergeant of Police Administration. Some of Jim’s extra responsibilities include working as an instructor at the Allentown Police Academy, and continues to teach cadets on various topics. He has also served on the committee for Municipal Officers Education and Training Commission, where he has developed required annual education and training for officers throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Jim also organizes and operates the Citizens Police Academy that is held annually to introduce citizens into the world of policing, along with the new Senior Citizens Police Academy, which educates seniors about the latest scams and fraud affecting seniors. The program also introduces them into the world of policing. This new Senior class commenced in 2019.
Since 2005, he serves as Treasurer on the Police Athletic League Board, assisting with fundraising activities for the Honor Guard and the K-9 program, as well.
In February of 2020, James was promoted to rank of Captain of Police Administration.
James enjoys spending time with his family and dogs. He is also a car enthusiast and is credited with creating the Classics and Cruisers Car Show, held annually on Hamilton St. in downtown Allentown. James looks forward to serving the Allentown community for many more years. He is proud of the men and woman of Allentown Police Department and of the goals the department has reached.
City of Allentown - 435 Hamilton Street - 610-439-5999