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Second thoughts about police regionalization in Adams County

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MCSHERRYSTOWN, Pa. -- A municipality in Adams County is reconsidering regionalizing its police force.

The idea to regionalize police coverage between Conewago Township, New Oxford and McSherrystown started last year, but McSherrystown backed out last February after borough council members said a study of the police departments was flawed.

The study showed large discrepancies in savings between the three municipalities.

Conewago Township Manager Barbara Krebs said, "When the study came back there was some discussions on whether the municipalities thought it was accurate and spelled out a true picture as far as the budget was concerned."

According to the study, Conewago Township would save about $600,000, but McSherrystown would only save about $3,000, and New Oxford would have to pay more for their police budget. There was also concern there wouldn't be enough police coverage for McSherrystown.

Krebs said regionalizing the forces benefits the people who live in the area.

"Right now the township's budget is OK but as we find it harder and harder to get grants and other funding for other projects, more money would have to go into the safety for our citizens which is the police force," she said.

Some people who live in McSherrystown support the idea.

Janice Bankert said, "I really think they should really consider it because I think we need more coverage."

If not, they may have to look at other options.

Krebs said, "The township has to look at something to avoid raising taxes to provide that safety that citizens are used to."

And she argued regionalizing the police will save the municipalities money in the long run.

"The municipalities at some point have to look at going in this direction just bottom line cost factors. It's like anything like your fire departments and they all join forces because the money isn't there any longer. So at some point we have to move in that direction," Krebs said.

The state will be conducting a separate feasibility study of McSherrystown Police Department which will begin in a couple weeks. They will continue to consider regionalizing and discuss it in their upcoming meetings.