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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Friday, July 14, 2017

Bath Borough Votes Unanimously to Leave CRPD

On Wednesday night, Bath Borough Council voted unanimously to leave Colonial Regional Police Department (CRPD). They did so without knowing whether they will have any police coverage at all, claiming they have 16 months to figure it out.

This decision was reached without conducting a survey of the borough to see if residents really want to lose CRPD. They also failed to discuss whether a spendthrift borough that is nearing its debt limit should even exist.  But that's what I would expect from a borough so insensitive to the public safety of children that it stopped paying for crossing guards. This forced Northampton Area School District to bus the students

On its Facebook page, Bath Borough plastered all kinds of notices concerning its town hall. But it has failed to say a word about its vote to leave CRPD, and even ignored a resident's question about it.

I saw no media coverage of this important decision in any of the usual news outlets  As newspapers shrink, expect to see more of these death blows to public safety

Blogger's Note: I am relying n a third party for this account because I was covering Bethlehem's Zoning Hearing Board on Wednesday. 

51 comments:

Anonymous said...

You get what you pay for.

Anonymous said...

So will they be riding the back of the PSP? Seems like a steal at $50 per resident. What would happen if every municipality that has a funded police departmwnt would demand the State provide 3/4 of their operating budget?

Anonymous said...

PSP will provide adequate coverage to Bath at no direct cost to the Boro taxpayer. PSP is already in East Allen and Allen Township. PSP covers much bigger and more populated communities in the Lehigh Valley and there are no substantive complaints. Bath's action could possibly start a trend. Local Police Departments are very, very costly and candidly, not needed when the State provides the service at no direct cost. IMHO.

Anonymous said...

PSP response times in E Allen seem pretty good, from my experience. Residents should consider their own safety, though. When seconds count the police are minutes away. Buy a firearm and become proficient with its safe use.

Anonymous said...

The borough needs to be annexed by another municipality. Consolidation is their only answer.

Anonymous said...

There are two alternatives, contracting Moore Township at $273,000 p/yr. or bringing in PSP at $0, [for now], jut like neighbors Allen and East Allentown township. Both are competent and available, at a reasonable cost.

Anonymous said...

Bath will have a problem if it depends only on PSP. It is not a sleepy little hollow off the beaten path. Major roads intersect at its center. It has a history of serious vehicle crashes, bank robberies, burglary, vandalism, and other serious crime.

Anonymous said...

The communities that remain with CRPD will now see an increase in their share of financing the CRPD. Will the added cost have them rethinking being part of the "membership" and more communities will not renew, choosing the "free" PSP?

Anonymous said...

Hey Bath, get ready to hear that a response will delayed due to Troopers being tied up on an accident on the highway. That's the go to when they don't want to deal with your noisy neighbors or anything they deem small potatoes.

Anonymous said...

In time council will realize their mistake in leaving CRPD. By then it will be too late. Without any police presence, crime and complaints will rise. Sure, PSP will respond to the major calls, but they will not bother with the nuisance calls. It's just ashame that this had to happen.

Anonymous said...

Like 7:42 mentions, with routes 512, 246, 987, 329 all in, intersecting and around Bath this is a big bet that boro leadership is making that could literally effect peoples lives.

I totally get and sympathize with budget #'s and tax bases, I'm sure CRPD's slice of the budget pie is sizable and makes for a quick and easy target to ease the burden. Hopefully criminals don't recognize the boro as a quick and easy target now.

The Mayor, manager and other leadership best have a strong plan in place and pray that they aren't one day trying to justify the money they saved today for someones life tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

One night in allen township during a burning ban I called 911 to report a "campfire" in the woods that was 20ft high because the drunkards were pouring gas on it. It seriously took an hour to respond and they drove up MY driveway to tell me to put it out. There was a 5-10 foot line of burning grass when they ran away from the fire pouring gas along the way. It seriously sounded like a small explosion.

The great thing about Allen and East allen is the odds of getting pulled over for speeding are slim to none! But if you do they have radar!

I wish we had a local police department.

Anonymous said...

9:47
Taxes here are 15 mills. We can't pay more taxes. Council made the best decision for all of us. They even went door to door to ask many of us. CRPD is great, but way too expensive for a small town. How can a small town survive in a police partnership with two wealthy municipalities? Everyone is quick to judge, while knowing nothing.

Anonymous said...

@10:00,
Just another reason for the borough to be assimilated into another municipality.

Anonymous said...

To the Bath Community....
Wake up. We are land locked. We have no room for growth or expansion. No way to expand our tax base.
To Anonymous 6:50 AM
You are right. We should be annexed by another Community. Wadda you say we become part of Freemansburg (at least they have a police department). .....or.....Wadda you say we start electing our mayor and our council on their ability to lead and require that they at least have an I.Q. of 50. The real answer to our problems are no different than any other communities problems. Elect good people to represent you instead of the deadbeats that represent us here in Bath.

Anonymous said...

@10:00 - I don't live in Bath, nor am I familiar with their total budget, debt and other expenses. I'm sure there were other potential, yet painful, choices that could have been made and I am equally sure they were all looked at and evaluated. All I'm saying is if the citizens can't or won't pay more for government services, putting public safety as the first thing to go is a risky proposition for everyone that could very well carry tragic consequences.

Raising to 16 mills would roughly equate to $160/yr increase on the average property or $15 per month. Most people regularly swallow that type of increase from their cable company or cell phone data plan and won't bat an eye.

Anonymous said...

Do not envy Bath as their situation is not very good looking forward. Tough decision and I hope they can be successful as far as public safety is concerned. Time will tell.

Bernie O'Hare said...

" I don't live in Bath, nor am I familiar with their total budget, debt and other expenses. I'm sure there were other potential, yet painful, choices that could have been made and I am equally sure they were all looked at and evaluated."

That is complete horseshit. I am quite sure that you not only live in Bath, but are on of those who pushed to get rid of CRPD. It is equally clear that other options were not discussed. bath's continued existence was not discussed. There was no survey of borough residents. You went and bought a building you don't need for too much money and that will require almost as much in renovations as you spent to buy it.

Anonymous said...

@11:03
Agreed. Public safety should be the last thing to go. There should have been an alternate plan in the works. The "We have 16 months to figure it out" statement doesn't provide much assurance to residents that Bath leadership will do anything other than just add to the overextended PSP problem. Bath will be just another example for Wolf to use in passing a fee onto communities without police, perhaps even lowering the population requirement of communities that will have to pay the fee. Low enough to include Bath's population of more than 2500.

Anonymous said...

I don't often have the time to do it but yesterday I was listening to the 911 dispatch. A 35 women with 5 kids had an unwanted guest on Old Forge Drive. Her 325 pound ex-boyfriend was refusing to leave. She was there with her 5 kids, none who belonged to the ex-boyfriend. Three Colonial units were sent to handle the situation. How long does the manager, mayor and council think it will take PSP to arrive from somewhere in the county to protect this 35 year old defenseless women?

Wise decision. Time to drain the swamp in Bath.

Anonymous said...

Time for LVPC to study County-wide force an/or municipal consolidation.

Geoff said...

In this day and age, municipalities of 2,600 people should be forced to consolidate as a condition of PSP protection. We aren't riding horses anymore--such small units serve no purpose.

Anonymous said...

Bernie @ 12:15 - Easy, easy there big fella! Did you read the rest of my post?!?!? To start - I'm definitely not from Bath or associated with it in anyway whatsoever (or CRPD for that matter). I think my posts at 9:47 and 11:03 show me to be squarely in the "This is a BAD idea" column.

Scott

Anonymous said...

@1:03 & 1:59 - Both outstanding ideas!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Scott, I apologize. I did misunderstand you.

Anonymous said...

Consolidation and county forces are both valid options but the provincial attitudes of most muni's especially rule out such progressive notions. The "kingdom" attitude persists to the detriment of public safety and a responsive show of force when called. Foolish small minded people in power is a real problem.

Anonymous said...

Yet Lower Macungie Township, the largest Township in the Lehigh Valley population wise at 30,000 plus with major roadways traversing its community coupled with banks, new retail centers including Walmart, Target, Costco fully rely on the PSP. Why can't Bath? Why can't other communities?

Anonymous said...

Communities like Lower Macungie using money saved from free PSP for amenities is exactly why those who do provide their own police protection out of their own coffers are screaming for a change. Lower Macungie is getting fat while the PSP's coverage area increases and the rest of Pennsylvania pays for a community that can afford to become part of a regional force, or create their own.

Anonymous said...

I'm a longtime critic of large size municipalities [Lower Macungie & North Whitehall] refusing to form their own traditional {local] police departments in lieu of PSP coverage and the high cost to taxpayers of Pennsylvania. Until these scared and useless politicians in the House change things, the over-worked and stretched PSP will be providing local policing at no cost or relative cheap costs. But with PSP you'll have access to a full police service agency: Superb investigative services, Vice, K-9, aviation, mounted patrol, bomb squad and special response teams. Yes I agree response times will vary, patrolling limited and local ordinances will not be enforced. But the other option is to contract police services out at a reasonable cost. Since CRPD does not want to do this, [because they can't give a reasonable cost and retaliation], Moore Township, a professional and reasonable cost,[$140,000 less than CRPD], would be the alternative and they would provide 12-hours of constant patrolling in the borough; something that CRPD claims is 12% of their patrol time in the Borough. My suggestion to Bath is to bring professional consultants in to perform a study, [there is plenty of time], and make a decision from there.

Anonymous said...

As Mr. O'Hare points out their was no survey of residents. The council passed the buck to an advisory group. Now the citizens are speaking up on the Bath Facebook page. The Mayor or manager (whose wife is a civilian working for CRPD) is trying to defend their actions. Can you say BS!

Anonymous said...

Excellent statement. And an excellent analogy. You've have really nailed it.

Anonymous said...

8:10

Hey, Einstein - Bath Council had a town hall. 2700 residents, only 60 came. Council went door to door. Not many people came to the meetings I was at. They've been talking about this for a while now. Majority of residents don't care. The mayor doesn't have a vote, and the managers wife does not work for CRPD. Get a clue.

Anonymous said...

She most certainly does. She the receptionist, Victoria Flynn. BTW, my name's Richard.

Anonymous said...

BTW, you're uninformed. Does it matter? Repeat, get a clue.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"he Mayor or manager (whose wife is a civilian working for CRPD) is trying to defend their actions."

The manager's wife is a former CRPD employee. She left before all this hullabaloo. I don't think there's any connection between her departure (on good terms) and Bath's decision.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Hey, Einstein - Bath Council had a town hall. 2700 residents, only 60 came. Council went door to door. Not many people came to the meetings I was at. They've been talking about this for a while now. Majority of residents don't care. The mayor doesn't have a vote, and the managers wife does not work for CRPD. Get a clue."

I like this smug response from an official who won't say who he or she is. If Council went door to door, they did a shitty job bc no one knows about it. You needed a survey since referenda on questions like these are illegal. At the meeting I did attend - a town hall that started early in the morning - there were numerous people for a town Bath's size, and I would say the room was evenly split. This is about the 100th time I have read that the Mayor has no vote. She does have a voice, and failed to use it bc she supported breaking toes with CRPD while she would privately tell others she did not. She tried to be all things to all people.

Despite your smug assessment, the person you call Einstein does seem to have "a clue."

FIORELLA R MIRABITO said...

Mr. Ohare,

I’ve tried not to respond to your constant criticism of Bath and it’s administration. Plus, I’ve been told by many not to feed into your negativity...although, I feel it’s time for a response.

First, you have no idea what I’m about – you know nothing about me, what I believe; what I feel; what I do, etc. I took office over four years ago, and my number one priority – as many will tell you, is the health and safety of the residents of my Borough. Also, those that know me – certainly know I have a voice – and, I’m not afraid to use it.

Secondly, I was employed by CRPD at it’s inception. The men of CRPD were, and still are much like family to me. I hosted more gatherings with them in my home than I can count. As most of them know – I DO USE MY VOICE. I always have – after all, I’m Italian! The decision to withdraw from CRPD was, and still is, very difficult for me…whether you believe that or not. As many of your followers have said – I DO NOT have a vote. Although, I have to face the reality of increased costs. We certainly do not have the resources our CRPD member municipalities are privileged to have. How can we keep increasing taxes for residents who already cannot afford to pay the taxes they are paying. We have average household incomes of $49K/year. Our millage is at 15 – why would people even live here, if we keep increasing taxes? In time it will become a ghost town. Our roads and infrastructure are in serious need of attention; our municipal building is falling down around us; and, the list of costs for this Borough is ever-increasing. If I could've done something to keep CRPD - I would have, not one question about it. I am, and will always be eternally grateful to CRPD and the men who have taken care of the Borough of Bath.

Lastly, you and many others mention “consolidation”. Would I agree to such a move – absolutely! I’ll give up my position today! I want the people of Bath to be able to live here and know they have access to as many services as possible. As a very wise person said at the beginning of these discussions – “it worked for Bath for 20 years – it just doesn’t work anymore”.

Have a good day!

Anonymous said...

Mayor @ 11:21,

Though the following questions may sound critical they are asked only in seeking your planned solutions.
1. Since PSP will not enforce local ordinances, how will unregistered, uninsured, or abandoned vehicles be handled? Towing companies now insist that a law enforcement agency approve a tow before they will hook a vehicle, fearing a lawsuit without that authorization.
2. Your community, because of the high number of "outsiders" passing through has had a history of some serious crime. Once it is known that response times will be greatly increased and PSP already known for not doing patrols on a regular basis, do you worry that a criminal element may see Bath as easy pickings with multiple escape routes?
3. How will you enforce parking ordinances, not only in fair weather months, but in winter when your snow routes must be cleared of vehicles for plowing? PSP won't do that for you, either.
4. Is there any plan (or ideas) from your Council on what they hope to have in place to address the above problems and other Quality Of Life issues that a police department enforces for your borough, but PSP will not?

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Freemansburg will not entertain a merger with Bath, we're to classy.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Mayor, i realize you have no experience at seeing your borough's mismanagement questioned. That is bc the dailies no longer cover you. And I have only rarely looked at Bath over the past decade. Even my recent stories about the CRPD debacle is hardly constant criticism. I am also certain that a council which open carries at a meeting attended by a union rep would be afraid of a blogger, too.

You claim to have a voice you are not afraid to use. But you consistently ducked the opportunity to say you oppose leaving CRPD. You have no vote but you have the bully pulpit, and all you have done is avoid this issue. That is because you are playing both sides. You claim I have no idea what you are about. I know too well what you are about. I have seen people like you my entire life. They are usually mayors, and yes, they don't like to talk to me.

As a former CRPD employee, you should have been out there,telling council they are making a mistake. You know better than most that it is a good department. Your silence has been a disappointing lack of leadership.

You failed to consider many options, like moving into a much less expensive municipal building. And $41000 in legal fees is insane. But you don't bat an eye about that.

Just as you dropped the crossing guards and endangered children, you now have dropped CRPD and endangered everyone else.

You claim to support dissolution. It is a very simple process. The solicitor you grossly overpay can guide you through it. But I suspect that is just more baloney.

Anonymous said...

This should be interesting, as Old Forge could use a fulltime police force all on its own. Anyone who lives in or near Bath knows all about that.

Anonymous said...


Bernie - you have all the answers. Why not volunteer to help Bath out. Where to save money and keep the CRPD. You seem to have all the answers.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Here are three answers: 1) replace tge borough manager; 2) reduce solicitor payment to $15000 from the current $41,000. 3) if too late to stop the $450k purchase of thirst quenchers, sell it and get something much smaller. Have meetings at fire hall. Do not spends dime on renovations.

Anonymous said...

1) You need a experienced borough manager who is forward thinking not a former police officer with a vendetta. 2) The expense for the borough solicitor is much more serious than you show. They pay more than municipalities 6 or 7 times their size. 3) Things were so bad their 2 person road crew unionized. 4) There sole office employee just resigned. 5) Rent a store front as the municipal office and have meetings at fire hall or legion hall. 6) Merge with Moore Township. The Honda certainly would could absorb the Pinto. I'll think of more.

Anonymous said...

You are some hypocrite Bernie O'Hare. You slam Bath for having a decant Town Hall and place for employees. You say they should use the fire hall. Yet when your boy John Stoffa went on a massive building binge you doggedly defended the huge multi-million dollar expenditures of cash. Why not be consistent.
You are shameful.

Hit a truth nerve?

Bernie O'Hare said...

No, but your comment is Off topic and was correctly deleted. You are driven by hatred of me instead of interest in the topic under discussion.

Anonymous said...

anon 4:36 has a point regarding the run away cost of government buildings.

Anonymous said...

Let me get this straight, Bath has voted to leave CRPD, yet has 16 months to decide what they will be doing about police coverage. Does the Borough expect that it will receive the same police coverage for the next 16 months while they mull over what to do that they've always received? How can that even be possible? It would only make sense that if the police department is losing a municipality,it has or will be losing cops who will need to be let go, or who may decide to go in search of another department for fear of losing their job. Manpower will be decreased, yet the Borough will expect the same coverage they've been receiving. This will effect all municipalities covered by CRPD. What a shame.

Bernie O'Hare said...

CRPD is very professional and will continue to serve Bath with the same attention they do now.

Anonymous said...

I hope that you are correct. I really do. It's just hard to see how that could be possible when they will inevitably lose manpower.

Anonymous said...

*too, obviously not that classy