Southeastern PA

Future of Pennridge Regional Police Department unknown

Future of Pennridge Regional Police Department unknown

Residents in Bucks County have concerns for their safety as they face the possibility of losing some police coverage.

Residents and police offices spoke up Thursday night at a Pennridge Regional Police Commission meeting about East Rockhill Township's plans to cut almost $180,000 it gives to the police department. The cuts would be because of budget restraints.

The Pennrige Regional Police Department serves both East Rockhill and West Rockhill Townships.

East Rockhill resident Roemary Wheatley said "It's our safety, I work in a police department now, I know what happens when there's no police around."

One of the Pennridge offiers who spoke said, "We ask you all, as our employers, to please reconsider."

Officials from both townships are part of the police commission.

West Rockhill Township Supervisor Jay Keyser said, "I'm hoping that East Rockhill will have a change of heart as well."

"We have cut staff, we've cut expenses, the three of us don't bother to take our salaries, we're walking the walk," said East Rockhill Township Supervisor Jim Nietupski.

The police chief says the cuts would cost the department one full time and two part time officers.

An officer said, "How much are you willing to spend, not in whole, but on each individual resident that you have been elected to govern and sworn to provide a feeling of living in a safe and friendly environment?"

Some people say they'd rather pay higher taxes than lose the police coverage.

"I can't be patrolling my house while I'm in work and that's what we want these guys to do and they do a great job," said Wheatley.

Another resident who spoke said, "If I had children in school and I knew there wasn't going to be a full police service that we've had, I would be crazy over it."

"At this point we are where we are until the budget is firm in mid December," said Nietupski.

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