MCADOO, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) McAdoo Police will no longer be patrolling the community 24-7 due in part to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the town’s budget.
McAdoo officials confirm they will rely on state police to provide protection during the hours not patrolled by borough police officers.
Residents that Eyewitness News spoke with are not happy about the decision to cut local patrols. But McAdoo Borough officials tell us they have no other choice and insist public safety will NOT be placed in jeopardy.
McAdoo Police officers’ patrols will no longer be 24-7 as of next week.
After Chief Jeff Wainwright of McAdoo Police received a phone call regarding the news from the Mayor he said, “To be honest with you I’m a little taken back.”
Chief Wainwright told us, “Citizens rely on the police service on this town. It’s a safety concern for our citizens of the borough.”
Mayor Dane Watro of McAdoo commented, “This was something a hard decision for everybody on council. It was a unanimous decision last night. Everybody struggled with it.”
Mayor Watro tells Eyewitness News that the decision to terminate 24-7 local police patrols was not an easy one, but he says the COVID-19 pandemic has added an unplanned financial burden on the already cash-strapped community. Revenues from things like building permits are down, and Earned Income Tax (E.I.T.) is expected to be reduced because many borough residents lost their jobs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Watro says, “We’re at a financial constraint with E.I.T taxes projected to come in. We’re at a loss financially. Hoping this won’t be something long-term but we never could tell.”
State police will cover the patrol hours when McAdoo officers, which consist of three full-time and two part-time officers, are not available.
“We are developing a plan so the safety and security like I always said is my main thing for the citizens of the borough in my position,” says Watro.
Andy Sherkness owns a personal care home in the center of the Borough. He’s concerned about public safety. He’s hoping the borough can find the money maybe from the Federal or State Governments to keep the local officers in the street.
He says, “It’s going to be noticeable. Definitely a thing that shouldn’t happen. They are giving everybody money for everything else why not do what’s right for the town and support especially the police force.”
A state police spokesperson tells Eyewitness News that troopers will be available to cover the borough.
There are concerns in this community because troopers are based at the Frackville barracks which is about 20 miles away.