Conservative or Liberal, Deist or Pagan, Jersey transplant or Lehigh Valley native, we're all in this mess together. Let's talk. Let us do no harm. Today's one-liner: "The shortest way to the distinguishing excellence of any writer is through his hostile critics." Richard LeGallienne
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Bethlehem Township Comm'rs Debate Value of Police Training
According to the Pennsylvania State Police, there are only 92 drug recognition experts in Pa., i.e., officers trained to recognize drivers impaired by illegal drugs. One of them is Bethlehem Township Police Sergeant Daryl LaPointe.
Although Sergeant LaPointe's training was authorized by Commissioners in January, they were divided at their August 15 meeting on whether to send him to a three-day "Prosecuting the Drugged Driver" training session at State College this September at a cost of $200 for training, a two-night stay and meals.
Commissioner Michael Hudak noted that the actual cost to the township will be closer to $1,486, if you include the salary paid to him over that time. "I'd rather see that money spent on some type of re-certification," he argued. He noted that while LaPointe is at State College, "his service will be missed in the Township."
But Commissioner Jerry Batcha disagreed, noting that salaries are aid to officers when they are certified, too. "I think that's a little unfair," he reasoned, noting that this seminar would make Sergeant LaPointe's initial training "all the more valuable. Commissioner Thomas Nolan agreed with Batcha, noting that the Township has traditionally supported training so officers can better do their job. "The more training they have, the better off we as a Township are," he concluded.
Batcha, Nolan and President Arthur Murphy agreed to pay for the training. But Hudak, joined by Commissioner Paul Weiss, voted No.