Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Lower Nazareth To Discuss a New Police Department on Wednesday

Lower Nazareth Township's Board of Supervisors is about to decide on forming its own police department. A meeting has been advertised for thus Wednesday, 6;30 pm, at Lower Nazareth Elementary School, which is located at 4422 Newburg Road. According to the notice, "A component of the meeting will be discussion of police services."

Currently, Lower Nazareth is served by Colonial Regional Police Department, which also covers Hanover Township and Bath. Formed in 1995 as one of the Lehigh Valley's first regional police departments, it's a 24-officer force. Unlike many smaller departments, it has investigative capacities.

Last year, Lower Nazareth Supervisors rejected a $3.39 million police budget proposed for next year. This operates as a notice of intent to withdraw in a year if the problems remain unresolved. If they are unable to come to terms by July 1, Lower Nazareth will have no choice but to go it alone, starting in January.

Their sticking point has been the $1,122,450 contribution from Lower Nazareth, which is $44,481 more than last year. "We're not going to increase taxes to pay for police services," complained Lower Nazareth Chair Eric Nagle last December. He also objects to Chief Roy Seiple's plan to expand the force gradually to 30 police officers.

So Nagle is worked up over what amounts to a four per cent increase.

Here's what kills me. At a meeting in March, he called Colonial Regional Police "the best in the state as far as I'm concerned."

So he is proposing to replace the best with something less than that over a measly four per cent.

First, he had Township manager Timm Tenges do some kind of analysis, then had it reviewed by some muckety muck from Kutztown. A copy of the "Police cost Analysis" has been released. It proposes replacing a 24-officer force with a 7-man police department (1 Chief, 1 Sergeant and 5 patrolmen) Nazareth Borough, which is smaller and has far fewer road miles, has a 13-man force.


The township apparently plans to use part-time officers to complement a bare-bones department that will leave just one officer on duty most of the time.

It's really a recommendation to cut current services.

The cost analysis may be flawed in other respects as well, and may not have the correct salaries for comparison or include the cost of part-time officers.

Why would Eric Nagle want to replace "the best" with a 7-man force that might be enough to cover the Wal Mart and other stores at Northampton Crossings?

This is penny wise and pound foolish. I know Eric is trying to be frugal, but this exercise will cost him much more down the road. What's worse, he fails the citizens he has sworn to serve.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

The time has come for a county police force. Only third class cities can stay independent but all other municipalities should be rolled into a county run force like in many area's of the country.

Anonymous said...

It has little to do with saving money. It is all about control.

Anonymous said...

More regional cooperation of shared services in both staff and resources in both local government and education is truly the best for all citizens & taxpayers.

Stop with all the circle jerking of a few dollars but be stronger in making sure the payroll is in line with comparable departments.

$70+K does seem a bit high!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Mayberry

Anonymous said...

LN is making a decision based on a personal issue of the chairman. Time to look for Nagle's name in police reports in 2008 or 2009.

Anonymous said...

Its not really even "penny wise" - the cost of bad policing is enormous. The most ridiculous quote here: "We're not going to raise taxes for a police force". That's what taxes are supposed to be used for! If people are now no longer willing to pay a bit more for good police protection, its no wonder our governments are going to the dogs. We are willing to pay more for hamburgers, cable TV, cell phones, and all the other useless junk that clutters our lives, but not for policing. All because of the success of the tea party message that all taxes are bad, all government is bad, and nothing good comes from our collective efforts. Hogwash. Its time we stop starving ourselves to death, and start taking responsibility for each other by being willing to pay a reasonable amount to take care of our collective responsibilities. I count fire, police, infrastructure, and human services among these.

Anonymous said...

Bernie - I hope you plan on attending. I know many of my neighbors plan on being there and verbally scorching the board for pursuing what is at best, a severely unpopular idea that will all but guarantee their asses getting booted in the next election.

Putting together a police force from scratch, all to save $250K?!?!? Moronic.

Scott

Bernie O'Hare said...

I'll be there.

Anonymous said...

Fools

Anonymous said...

Nagle should run for county council. he appears to have all the qualities of the current council.

Anonymous said...

IMHO, it's about Mr. Tenges being able to run his own little fiefdom, without any outside interference from the rest of the world.

Anonymous said...

This is not about Timmah.

This is not about Eric.

This is about another metastasizing bureaucracy, having established a foothold, banking on the sheeple to buy the scare.

They are speed trappers, dui enforcement and the shoplifter's worst nightmare. You do not have to pay to put an Indy car when you are running a dirt track.

Their tactic is that of the school teacher: Pay us or the world will come to an end.

Supervisors, stand your ground.

-Clem

Anonymous said...

Clem,
What's wrong with being effective in enforcing the law?

Anonymous said...

Nothing wrong with being effective.

Getting too expensive. The supervisors are doing their jobs.

Worked up over a four percent increase? That's the line the schools have used for decades, and now we've got 100K dodgeball instructors and an entrenched, too big too fail, too big too fix bureaucracy.

See, everybody wants their 4%, and every time it is the same story.

You think net income of the payor is keeping pace, to give that much away every time a feeder tells you they must have more or you are a selfish bastard who won't protect your family or you don't really love your kids?

Nothing wrong with effectiveness. But there is more than one way to skin a cat, and the supervisors are correct to look at this.

-Clem

Anonymous said...

My bad. I thought this article was about Lower Macungie Township. Don't you love how all those conservative preaching against entitlements but when it comes to their reliance on taxpayer provided PA State Police, they liken it to smart business.

Time the residents of LMT step up to the plate like some smaller Boroughs have and give up their entitlement of police protection.