As Stewartstown officials continue to contemplate joining the borough's police service with the Southern Regional Police Department, they will seek input from borough residents during a special meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
The Southern Regional Police commission will host the informational meeting at Eureka Fire Co., 82 N. Main St. in Stewartstown, said its commission chairman, John Trout, who is a representative from Glen Rock.
The meeting will also include a presentation from the police commission, he said.
It will also give residents a chance to ask questions about the possible merger.
"We want to get the public's input," said Gordon Wisnom, Stewartstown council president. "We want to hear from them."
Study: Nearly a year ago Stewartstown officials began to explore police options and took part in the study to see if the regional department would be a fit.
The study, conducted on behalf of the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development and released earlier this year, supports the borough's joining the department. The study cost the borough nothing.
The study says there would be major improvements to police service if the borough, which employs four officers, merged its police with the regional department, which has nine officers.
There would 24-hours-a-day, 365 days-a-year police coverage that would be uniform and consistent throughout all the municipalities. Stewartstown does not have around-the-clock coverage.
"Some residents want 24/7 (service) but I'm not so sure we need it," Wisnom said. "We're kind of a sleepy town."
Fourth: Stewartstown could be the fourth borough to join Southern Regional as a full-time member. The department provides full-time service to Glen Rock, New Freedom and Shrewsbury boroughs, and part-time coverage to Loganville and Railroad. It also provides coverage for the Southern York County School District.
"Therefore they (Stewartstown) would have voting rights (on the commission) as well," Trout said.
Stewartstown provides police service to Cross Roads and Winterstown boroughs and South Eastern School District. If the borough does join Southern Regional, the department could provide services to those boroughs and the school district, Trout said.
"We would certainly be interested in selling services to them," he said.
Cost: During the upcoming meeting, officials will discuss how much it would cost Stewartstown to join the department, Wisnom said.
With tight budgets at nearly every level of government, Wisnom said he's looking for the "best bang for the buck."
"We're trying to see what's the most cost-effective for the coverage and which (option) is the way to go," he said.
Though the meeting is another step in the process, the process itself is nowhere near its finale. In order for Stewartstown to join the department, a series of votes would have to be held.
The Stewartstown council would have to vote to join the department. All three current member municipalities - Glen Rock, New Freedom and Shrewsbury - would also have to approve the measure.
From there, the police commission would have to approve letting Stewartstown join.
- Reach Greg Gross at firstname.lastname@example.org.