Face in the Crowd
Tony Alsleben Captain of Administration, Allentown Police Department
Tony Alsleben’s name is strongly affiliated with the word “and” – law and order, clean and green, husband and father.
Alsleben, who lives in Lower Macungie Township, is the Captain of Administration in the Allentown Police Department. He is captain in another sense too; he is responsible for the Center City Clean and Green committee, which coordinates public safety, quality of life and downtown events.
The latter reflects Alsleben’s enthusiasm for the Lehigh Valley’s largest city.
“I have seen a new enthusiasm and energy downtown,” Alsleben says. “All of the businesses and people moving back has energized the area. There is a buzz downtown that I haven’t seen since I was a kid growing up here.”
He remembers that well.
Alsbelen was born and raised in Allentown. It’s where he was educated and ultimately switched career intentions.
“I graduated from Allen High School before attending Pennsylvania State University,” he recalls. “I majored in meteorology but eventually switched to and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in administration of justice.”
Locals will recognize some of the names Alsbelen mentions about coming of age.
“I spent most of my time outside playing hockey, football and baseball,” he says. “Every Saturday, my mother and I would spend the day downtown at Hess’s, Leh’s, McCrory’s and other stores. Downtown was the place to be and shop then.”
Today, Alsbelen lives with his wife, Colleen; 21-year-old son, Jake; 10-year-old daughter, Rose; and a golden retriever, Jamisyn Daisy.
Alsbelen does relax – sort of. His idea of winding down is “a run, walking my dog, watching and playing golf with my daughter or simply sitting back and watching M*A*S*H or The Big Bang Theory.
As for music, “I love all genres, but I live and breathe Metallica. Their music has gotten me through a lot of tough times in my life.”
Not all of taking it easy is done at home, Alsbelen notes.
“I have been fortunate to travel to Switzerland, California, Las Vegas, Denver, Puerto Rico, but my favorite destination is Hawaii. I have been there twice and can’t wait to get back. It truly is paradise.”
On the travel bucket list, Alsbelen says, is Ireland and New Zealand.
The first three Lord of the Rings movies offer an escape no airplane can for Alsbelen.
“Every time I watch them, I discover something new. The movies inspired me to read the books, and I’m amazed by Tolkien’s depth and genius. The literature is very cerebral.”
Somewhere in between, Alsbelen loves “cooking on the grill and using my smoker. Smoked brisket is a favorite.”
Alsbelen enjoys his life, and sees his late father, who passed away three years ago, as an inspiration.
“He, his mother and sister escaped the tyranny in East Germany when he was 12 years old. They moved to Allentown, and despite being held back two years in school to learn English, [my father] graduated high school and joined the Navy, proudly serving his adopted country in Vietnam. …When he returned from the war, he finished his naturalization and gained permanent citizenship. He loved [America], and his example taught me never to take the good fortunes of this great country for granted.”
On a less serious note, what motto keeps Alsbelen going?
“What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.”