Macungie Considers Regional Police Force
The move would be a possible merger with Alburtis and Lower Macungie and Upper Milford townships.
Macungie Council again discussed the possibility of forming a regional police force at its July 5 meeting.
Council President Guy Ramsey learned that Lower Macungie Township was given several offers to contract services from other municipalities. Ramsey presented a proposal to council to meet with the township and discuss a regional police force, possibly involving Alburtis and Upper Milford Township, as well.
“I don’t know where to begin,” Ramsey said.
Macungie Police Chief Ed Harry, however, said he and his officers agree a consolidated force would be a good thing.
“I am absolutely all for it,” said Chief Harry after the meeting. “I have approached council on several occasions about looking into it.”
Borough Manager Chris Boehm said forming a regional police force can take a long time and now is the time to start discussing it.
Mayor Rick Hoffman is also in favor of a regional force.
“Regionals can work if they are set up properly," Hoffman said, "But there can be lots of problems until everything gets worked out.
Councilman Joseph Sikorski also agrees it's not too soon to start discussions.
“Maybe they won’t want to go with a regional police force, but we just have to talk,” Sikorski said.
Some concerns include whether the police officers would retain their jobs if the borough went regional.
“All the officers would keep their jobs," Harry said after the meeting. "However, depending on how the charter is written, I may not. I am not a civil servant and not guaranteed my position.”
Residents would be just as safe as they are now, he said.
“The beauty of it is,” Harry said, “It takes the politics out of it [the police force].”
At the meeting Boehm said would draft a letter to the Lower Macungie Township Commissioners inviting them to get together for a meeting to discuss a possible regional police force.
In other business, Boehm gave a heads-up that the Macungie Fire Department has sent out letters to all households for their 2011 Fund Drive. Boehm reminded residents that the fire company is an all-volunteer department and needs the residents’ support.
A donation of $40 per household is all that is asked, she said.