Southeastern PA

East Greenville remains committed to its own police force

EAST GREENVILLE, Pa. - East Greenville's separation from the Upper Perk Police Department has been a lengthy and contentious ordeal and it isn't over.

On Monday night, an ordinance that would have terminated the borough's participation in Upper Perk was tabled to review potential minor amendments. However, just as important, a motion to continue the deal through the end of the year and conclusion of the contract and to have one final, last ditch meeting between East Greenville and Pennsburg to reach a compromise was defeated by a 4-2 vote.

"I'd like to give it one last time to see if something can be worked out," said Councilwoman Jennifer Moran, who made the motion that ultimately failed. Right now East Greenville is scheduled to leave June 1.

Councilman Robert McCluskie said the borough already made that good faith effort.

"This isn't working out," he said of the relationship.

"We've tried that," said Councilwoman Tracey Hunsinger of talking with Pennsburg. "I honestly don't think Pennsburg is going to change."

A dysfunctional Police Commission with three members from East Greenville and three members from Pennsburg was cited by McCluskie and Hunsinger Monday night as another factor in the split.

"We cannot continue with a commission that doesn't function," said Hunsinger.

Many of the residents who voiced their concerns about the split Monday night acknowledged the two sides have issues that may or may not be able to be reconciled. Nevertheless, they urged council to honor the contract through the end of the year.

"I think that's (leaving June 1) rushing," said Moran, who received a round of applause by many audience members after uttering the statement. "It should be done correctly."

Other residents said that the were concerned about unknown costs of starting their own police force. While they admitted they have may ultimately have no recourse, they maintained there is still enough time to patch up their differences between now and the end of the year.

East Greenville also contends they simply cannot afford to continue the partnership. The borough plans to create their own modest police force and that would provide police coverage along with the Pennsylvania State Police.

Councilman Michael Perlow was absent from Monday night's meeting.

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