Stewartstown took another step toward joining a regional police service Monday when the council voted to have documents drawn up to disband its police department at year's end.
"By the end of the year, we're going to dissolve the police department," said Gordon Wisnom Sr., council president, "(We're) trying to regionalize to get more coverage."
Stewartstown officials have been in talks with Southern Regional Police Department commissioners for about a year about joining the regional service. Joining the multi-municipality department would save Stewartstown money.
The department provides service to New Freedom, Shrewsbury, Glen Rock, Loganville and Railroad, as wells as the Southern York County School District.
The borough could join the department on Jan. 1, 2014.
Savings: Stewartstown stands to save more than $100,000 a year in police costs should it join the department.
With about $118,000 in physical assets, Stewartstown would have to put forward $370,000, spread out over a four-year period, to buy into the department.
At $123,380, first year costs are higher because of a need to re-mark Stewartstown's police fleet and to buy equipment used by Southern Regional. The borough would then pay $82,140 each year for the next three years.
Stewartstown, which budgeted about $445,000 for its four-man department in 2013, would see savings after the buy-in process is finished.
Cost for Stewartstown's department would be higher if the borough hired a police chief, which it has been without.
The saving is coupled with increased police service, which means Stewartstown would have 24-hours-a-day service, something it doesn't have now.
Votes: Before Stewartstown and Southern Regional can join forces, each of the department's voting member municipalities - Shrewsbury, New Freedom and Glen Rock - have to approve the measure, as does the department's commission.
Stewartstown council member must also vote to join the department.
Wisnom said the council could vote in November but a vote is more likely to happen in early December.
"If that doesn't happen, we might to resort to state police (for coverage)," he said.
Should the borough join Southern Regional, its four officers would join the department but would have to go through a one-year probation period. Each officer would also receive a pay increase.
"We're trying to take care of our people...to make sure they have a job," Wisnom said.