Swatara Township Police Chief gives update on January police services merger following study report
HARRISBURG, Pa. – Just one day after results from Dauphin County’s police regionalization study report were announced, county commissioners received an update on the area’s first police services merger.
Swatara Township Police Chief, Jason Umberger, says the January merger with Paxtang Borough’s police services is saving taxpayer dollars. The merger is serving as a case study for regionalization in Dauphin County. Paxtang dissolved its police department and purchased services from Swatara.
The County is considering whether to merge or regionalize police departments in different municipalities to save money. The County’s recent study offers seven merger options with potential savings of up to $18 million, but County commissioners don’t want to cut cost at the risk of cutting quality police service.
“We’ve said since day one, this is not an issue we want to force on anybody,” County Commissioner Mike Pries said. “The cost-savings are there, and if the police response time, the amount of policing stays the same or improves, that is something everybody has to take a real hard look at.”
Commissioners say it’s now up to municipalities to decide on regionalization. There’s no set timetable on any decisions yet.