(WBRE/WYOU-TV) Is bigger better when it comes to police protection? That’s what is being asked by many people in Southern Luzerne County. Talks are now underway between Sugarloaf Township and Butler Township Police Departments for a possible merger. The I-Team’s Andy Mehalshick has the story.
“When they say bigger is not always better but in this case in law enforcement in this day and age that’s something we really have to look at for better service better protection for this community,” Stressed Chief Brian Sabatini- Butler Township Police Department.
Butler Township Police Chief Brian Sabatini and Township Supervisor Charles Altimiller say it’s time to take a hard look at a possible merger with the nearby sugarloaf township police department.
“Well, the Sugarloaf Township Supervisors came to us asked us if we’d be interested so we asked the chief to start a study,” Said Altmiller.
Currently, Butler Township provides 24-7 coverage to its residents. While Sugarloaf Township Police depend on the state police to fill gaps in its coverage.
“So, we want the public involved in this whole time. We want them to know what we are doing. We want people of sugarloaf and the people of butler to be behind this,” Noted Altmiller.
It’s been studied before…but the effort died on the vine mainly because it was too costly to taxpayers. “I mean the big thing is the cost for all these municipalities to do the job right. You have to have the manpower but the problem with manpower is the expense,” Added Altmiller
Sugarloaf Township officials tell Eyewitness News. They too do not want to burden residents with any additional costs. But they are want to look at what can be accomplished. If the numbers add up. Chief Sabatini agrees, “We’ve done studies in the past with other municipalities my opinion is if we were going to go regional we should be a regional department in the valley here.”