FLEETWOOD, Pa. – A portion of Berks County has seen a lot of change in terms of its police coverage over the years.
"To our east, there used to be the Berks-Lehigh Police Department that took care of Upper Macungie, Maxatawny, Topton and Lyons Station," recalled Chief Steven Stinsky, Fleetwood Police Department.
That dissolved in 2012, and since then, the borough of Topton has had state police coverage, but come the new year, Fleetwood police will be stepping in, hiring a new full-time officer to provide support.
Stinsky has seen the law enforcement shift around the region, having also worked with the state police.
"It really doesn't matter your department, whether you're growing or shrinking," he said. "It's all about working together to get the job done."
At Michele's Corner Salon on Home Avenue in Topton, Michele Hoch, the owner said parking problems are plaguing her customers, so she's hoping a borough police presence, which can enforce ordinances that the state police can't, will help.
"I kinda have to tread carefully with that," Hoch said. "I don't want my customers getting tickets for that, because that's my business."
Others simply find security in a more consistent police presence.
"I think it's a good idea," said Kim Siegfried of Longswamp Township. "I think it's helpful. It'll cover a range of our area."
Additionally, Fleetwood police said they are also looking into covering Ruscombmanor Township some time in the spring.
"This isn't about replacing the state police with local police coverage," Stinsky said. "This is partnering with them and trying to provide better quality service to the residents."
The Fleetwood police chief said applications for an additional full-time officer to help cover Topton will be available in the Fleetwood Borough Hall.