LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) Is bigger better when it comes to police departments?
It's a question that was asked in a special i-team report that aired on eyewitness news at 11 last night.. The story generated a lot of response And today our lead I-Team Reporter Andy Mehalshick talked to some local officials.
Our report raised questions about whether regional police departments are the future of police protection. The basic consensus was that regional forces are more efficient, and provide better police protection. On Wednesday, we heard from officials who say there's got to be some way to mandate their formation..in the interest of public safety..
John Bonita is the business manager for Pittston Township. He was a key player in a three year long effort to form a regional police force in the Pittston area....
"We did resolve a lot of the issues that had to be resolved and we were so close to pulling it off and it just tumbled. When it did everybody was a little dissappointed."
The new regional police force would have included the communities of Pittston Township, Jenkins Township and Dupont., .Dupont pulled out...Officials there saying it was not in the best interest of its residents to be a member of the new police department...
"Until municipalities agree to the division of power the division of everything else it just won't happen." Said Bonita
And that is not the way it should be..so says State Senator John Yudichak.. He blames politics as the major reason that all too many of these efforts to organize regional police departments fail. He says municipal officials can't blame it on lack of funds.. State money is available to kick start the effort..
"There is a regional police grant, shared municipal services grant, LSA grant that tried to incentivize that in greater Pittston. Where they already had secured some funding. But these efforts always fall short here in Luzerne County." Said Senator Yudichak.