LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — History is being made in Luzerne County as the first-ever Regional Police Department is about to hit the streets.

The new department will combine five police departments into one.

This will be the headquarters for the new Wyoming Area Regional Police Department, the former home of the State Police Troop P.

Eyewitness News spoke with the police chief of the new department. It’s all about keeping the communities safe.

“We want to make sure we have the best police officers serving the communities in the most responsive way possible,” said Chief D.F. Pace of the Wyoming Area Regional Police Department.

Chief Pace is the chief of the New Wyoming Area Regional Police Department.

Pace will run the new police force that combines the police departments of Exeter, Exeter Township, Wyoming, West Wyoming, and West Pittston.

It will be based at the former state police barracks on Wyoming Avenue.

“Well the focus for the new police department is going to be professional both professional services to the community and also fostering a professional atmosphere in the workplace that includes respect and includes productivity and high morale,” Chief Pace said.

Chief Pace comes to Northeastern Pennsylvania after 22 years with the Philadelphia Police Department.

He knows that regionalism can be a touchy subject, but says it’s a national trend.

“The value of regionalization is more resources for the police department and when it comes to more resources that mean better service for the community and that’s what we are really focused on,” Chief Pace added.

Current Wyoming Borough Police Chief, Christopher Mercavitch, says it’s a win for the residents of the five communities.

“Well, with the more manpower that we’ll have we’ll be able to do more investigations..put somebody out to solve the crimes a little faster,” Chief Mercavitch explained.

The new force will not affect taxes, so says Wyoming Council President Mike Baloga.

“The tax rates will not go up and we’re saving money actually when we bring all these towns together,” Baloga said.

The new police force is set to hit the streets at 11:59 p.m. December 31.

State grants of some one million dollars were used to buy and renovate this former state police headquarters.