Poll: Should municipalities that use state police for protection have to pay for those services?
HARRISBURG, DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa.– Today, State Representative, Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, is hosting a news conference to unveil his plan that would implement a fee to municipalities who rely on Pennsylvania State Police to provide local police services.
Sturla’s proposal, House Bill 959, would establish the State Police Municipal Patrol Services Act. The proposal would help generate funds to cover the cost of providing local police coverage to municipalities that do not currently pay for their own local police and receive free local police coverage via Pennsylvania State Police.
Overall, the plan is projected to generate $1.75 billion over a 10-year period. These funds would be directed to the General Fund while being specially set aside for Pennsylvania State Police operation.
In Pennsylvania, there are 1,297 municipalities without a local police force. Circumstances are different for each, but these small towns are all afforded coverage from Pennsylvania State Police at no additional charge.
Earlier this year, Governor Tom Wolf proposed his own solution to the problem: a State Police Municipality Fee. Any area which uses Pennsylvania State Police in lieu of local coverage will be charged a $25 per capita fee. The governor’s office estimates a windfall of $63 million, which would go towards State Police recruitment and training.
That is a tad different from the proposal Sturla is presenting today, which would generate even more money. However, the general idea is the same, asking local municipalities to pay for State Police services.
Our question is, should municipalities that use state police for protection have to pay for those services?
Tune in to FOX43 First at 4 & 5 to see the results!