Could Southwestern Regional Police lose half of the municipalities they serve?

YORK COUNTY, Pa. -- North Codorus Township has submitted their intent to leave the Southwestern Regional Police Department by next year, and now police say another township could follow suit.

This time FOX 43 was able to speak to the township manager on camera.

Right now, North Codorus Township pays about 48% of the police department's budget, but they don't feel like they're 48% of the problem. If you ask police, they said this separation will hurt residents the most.

Back in October, FOX 43,  told you that North Codorus Township wanted to leave the Southwestern Regional Police Department, citing "fiscal responsibility" issues. They don't want to pay just under 49% of the department's two million dollar budget, even though half of the people they serve, live in North Codorus Township.

"We feel that we don't need the total amount of hours that we're paying for," Sharon Kerchner, township manager, said. "We feel that we're paying for more hours than we need. So we'd like to have had that calculation done over again based on the number of calls that we actually do have, and the crime rate."

Police Chief Greg Bean said the department costs less than most regional police departments in York County, And reducing hours is not a good idea.

"When we look back at the amount of crime that we had when we first formed in 2003, that number has gone down almost in half," Chief Bean said. "Our influence has been very positive. Our ranks are very very thin as it is."

To try and meet the township in the middle, the chief has proposed to get rid of two officers next year, going from 14 to 12.

"Which is our largest expense," Chief Bean said. "We believe it will also dramatically reduce service, so that goes hand in hand. Not exactly what we think should happen but that's where we are right now."

The difference is only a few dollars per person each year. But Chief Bean said cutting any services will cost the community.

"I disagree," Kerchner said. "I mean I think we'll get the right services within whoever we choose. They'll do the same thing, they might not do quite as much possibly, but yeah we'll still get the same service and protection. I just think we're paying more for other municipalities because of the way that the formula is."

Manheim Township said there's a possibility they could separate from the police department as well, but they are waiting to see what happens with North Codorus Township.

They plan on discussing it more at Wednesday night's police board meeting, which is happening at the police department at 7p.m., and is open to the public.

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