Supervisors Will Decide Fate of Police Department in December

East Franklin supervisors approved 2019 tentative budget that includes $120,000 allocated for the police department.

East Franklin Supervisors delayed making any decision regarding dissolving their police department until the December 20 meeting.

Their decision to not address the police department at last night’s meeting followed an executive session with their Solicitor Ty Heller.

Supervisors passed their 2019 tentative budget with no tax increase last night. The budget included line items of $53,000 for the current police chief and $17,000 for a part-time officer. The amounts are identical to what was set in the 2018 budget. In 2017, their part-time officer left and supervisors chose to not replace him in 2018, although they left it in the budget. They did the same for 2019.

“The option will be to either accept another contract or disband the police,” Supervisor Chair Barry Peters said following the meeting.

Both East Franklin and North Buffalo have submitted statistical information to the Governor’s Center for Local Government Services that is part of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).┬áDCED will compile the information and create a feasibility study for the potential of a merger between the two townships for police protection.

Peters said last night that he has not heard from DCED and doesn’t anticipate the report to be available for several months. If East Franklin decides to disband their police department, the township could opt to have State Police provide services until the report is complete, Peters said.

The budget also has a line item of $1,000 for a part-time police secretary, which was increased $500 over last year’s budget.