MANSFIELD, TIOGA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU)- The Lycoming County Commissioners are considering using their impact fee money to help fund a local police academy.
This is something the county has never done before, but they say they are open to the idea of relieving some of the burden that’s placed on cadets.
Right now, students who are part of the Mansfield Police Academy are paying $5,000 for heir 25-week program.
The director of the academy tells Eyewitness News with the new curriculum that’s in place, even more money will be asked of them.
At the academy, things just aren’t how they used to be.
“In the old days, for example, the townships, boroughs, and municipalities paid one to go to the training as well as paid for their training, and that doesn’t happen anymore,” said Scott Henry, director of the Mansfield Police Academy.
The academy is in the midst of expansion, renovation, and a new curriculum of training and classes. Henry says it’s a lot of changes with a big impact.
“With those increase of hours and expectations comes an increase on the financial side of it.”
Which is why Henry reached out to the Lycoming County Commissioners to seek some extra funding.
“This is still up in the air,” said Tony Mussare, Lyvoming County Commissioner. “We haven’t made any decisions yet, but we thought it was a worthwhile request for him and maybe it’s something that our citizens and people may want us to report.”
“I think it’s important for other counties and communities, whether you’re a township, borough, or a county, to see the value of placing revenue at Mansfield for the investment in individuals who will graduate and be prepared to serve in law enforcement,” said Erick Coolidge, Tioga County Commissioner.
Coolidge says his group has already jumped on board.
“We see the dollars that we’re investing at Mansfield University for the municipal police academy as a very good investment in all of us.”
Now, the hope is that Lycoming County will have the same vision and help to support the future of police of the northern ter of Pennsylvania.
“I’m very pleased that they’re going to sit with me this coming Monday and discuss this and further this,” said Henry.
“To invest in the future for public safety and I think it’s worthwhile,” said Mussare.
The Lycoming County Commissioners held a public meeting Tuesday night to get input on whether this is a smart investment. Mussare says there was both positive and negative feedback, but he believes this will help benefit the public safety in the area.
You can sign up now for the next class at Mansfield Police Academy, which begins May 14 and ends November 3.