If law enforcement leaders can lay out a clear-cut strategy to reduce drug and gang activity in Reading and Berks County, there is a good chance businesses will be willing to pay for some of it.
That was the feeling of Ellen T. Horan, president and CEO of the Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce & Industry, on Thursday after she and other area leaders got a rundown of how a business-fueled crime-fighting program has succeeded in Blair County.
“In our community, it would be helpful to have the business community step up, if we developed some strategies and expected outcomes,” Horan said.
The nonprofit program, Operation Our Town, was started by business leaders in Blair County to help fund law enforcement and community efforts to stop young people from becoming criminals.
A new study is about to begin that would consider merging the following police departments: York City, Dover, East Manchester, Manchester, Springettsbury and Spring Garden townships, Manchester, Mount Wolf and West York boroughs. Several of these departments are already part of regional police forces but will consider further consolidation to make one super-regional police force. Benefits include elimination of duplicate administrative positions, more combined personnel and access to specialties that some of the smaller departments now lack.
A state grant of $39,000 will go toward the $78,000 cost of the study. YorkCounts, a local nonprofit group, is picking up the other $39,000.
York City Police Captain Russ Tschopp said “It would make sense to work together.” Captain Tschopp also stated he thinks public safety would be improved.
We agree. Two Roy’s Rants thumbs up for putting petty politics aside and doing the right thing by taxpayers. Public safety should be the number one concern.