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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Freeman Proposes Public Housing Police Forces

State Rep. Bob Freeman, D-Northampton, has introduced a bill that would give public housing authorities the option of forming their own police force. The mystery I'd like him to solve is how to fund it during an era of declining federal funding.

Noting that Philadelphia and Pittsburgh Housing Authorities have their own police departments, Freeman thinks that all public housing authorities should have that ability. But this is no simple matter of keeping up with the Joneses. In some areas, public housing projects are packed together. In others, they are spread out in different parts of the city. That's certainly the case here in the Lehigh Valley.

Freeman argues that a "public housing police force also would greatly enhance community policing efforts, making public housing projects safer for their residents and their families, especially children." He adds it would also reduce the burden on municipal police departments.

Freeman credits Larry Hendershot, a former police officer who served on the Easton Housing Authority, for this proposal.

While Bob's  has attracted support from Mike Schlossberg and Pete Schweyer, I expect to see it die of natural causes in the House Urban Affairs Committee.It makes little sense with no revenue stream in place to support it.


Anonymous said...

Hmmm - a solution in the spirit of Bush's Medicare prescription plan!

Anonymous said...

Let's Balkanize area policing, that will bring our communities together.

Anonymous said...

Bob Freeman still has a pulse? Who knew? Another useless unnecessary proposal from a career politician.

Anonymous said...

Locally, the Bethlehem Housing Authority has an agreement with the city of Bethlehem whereby five officers provide "above baseline" services only for BHA and residents of public housing. BHA reimburses the city. This program has helped to reduce crime. The officers are part of the community policing concept. This is a more logical solution than forming your own police force. The start up costs, insurance concerns and other factors would make the representative's idea almost foolish.

Anonymous said...

"Weekend at Bob Freeman's"

I hope he stays alive long enough to have his district eliminated in the legislature downsizing. He's gone from being one of the best liked area pols to being a silly punchline.