EAST GREENVILLE, Pa. - The borough of East Greenville in Montgomery County now has its first police cruiser, but there's no actual police department yet and some residents don't think there ever should be, especially since their mayor is on the way out.
For years, East Greenville has been covered by the Upper Perkiomen Police Department, but East Greenville Mayor Ryan Sloyer says it would be cheaper if the borough had its own force.
"It's an exciting day for us to have our first police vehicle delivered to borough hall," said Sloyer. "The interim chief will start on June 1," added Sloyer.
Sloyer says the decision for the borough to leave the Upper Perkiomen Police Department started in September of 2016 and dissolved a 30-year agreement between Pennsburg and East Greenville.
"Wow, so soon," said East Greenville resident John Dingler. "I mean, I'm not in favor of it. I currently believe the Upper Perk Police Department serving both boroughs has been a positive thing."
"I do think we need to have police," said business owner Darlene Reck, adding, "If it works out it will be great."
Sloyer is starting the police department even though he lost in the May primary election.
His opponent in that race, Keith Gerhart, says residents have written and called asking Sloyer to halt the department until a new mayor is elected.
"We've had three different methods of telling them the people want to keep Upper Perk. They do not want East Greenville to form their own police department," added Gerhart.
However, East Greenville will move forward with a plan to convert a local clubhouse to a headquarters and have at least one officer on the street by June 1.
"The plan right now is for me to monitor the dispatches to the state police," said interim Police Chief Andrew Skelton. "If I am able to respond in an assist mode I will do that."
A group is currently looking into possible legal action against the mayor to stop spending for the East Greenville department at least until the November election.
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