WRIGHTSVILLE, Pa. -- After a unanimous vote, Wrightsville Borough will be joining forces with Hellam Township Police Department, which leaders say will better serve the community.
"The police officers get a raise, the people get 24 hour service, and we save a whole lot of money," said Eric J. White, Wrightsville Council President.“Police coverage is nearly half the boroughs budget which is just too much," he added.
Wrightsville Council President, Eric J. White, says poor police department management last year was one of the things that led to the budgeting issue, resulting in the firing of former police chief, Ron Hege.
“The police negotiation for the contract coming up next year that’s when the negotiations were going to start and there’s just no more money, there’s no way to go forward," said White. “You don’t have enough to take care of vacation, sick days, all that to fill in so we always had gaps in the schedule and that’s just not acceptable," he added.
With only three full-time police officers on staff, Wrightsville Borough made the decision to put a contract together with Hellam Township Police Department, saving them about $400,000 over the term of the three year contract.
“Which is a significant amount of money for a town our size," added White.
White says the money will be used to pay for roads and storm drains.
“These things have been kicked down the road for too many years," he said.
Chief Douglas Pollock with Hellam Township Police Department says it’s a win-win situation adding three more officers to the nine he already has on the street.
“It does a lot for the police department as well as the community because it’s going to increase our man power," said Chief Douglas Pollock, Hellam Township Police Department. “They are going to go through a bit of field training process just to make us feel comfortable that they are going to do things the way Hellam Township does things," he added.
Overall, Chief Pollack says everyone is excited about the new transition.
“I think they’re enthusiasm coming into the department, our guys are going to be a little bit more excited about coming to work and working with new guys and doing new things, said Chief Pollock.
Wrightsville officers will all be going through field training to get up to speed with Hellam Township’s equipment and procedures.
The joint police force contract will begin on July 1st.