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Officials: York Area pitched police merger to Northeastern Regional

Lindsey O'Laughlin
York Dispatch

After nearly a year of stalled discussions over the future of the Northeastern Regional Police Department's future, the NERPD board has a new option to consider: merging with another department.

The York Area Regional Police Department proposed the merger, two Northeastern Regional Police Board members confirmed Tuesday, and the proposal will be on the agenda for discussion during Northeastern Regional's July 20 board meeting.

"We’re all looking for a way past where we’re stuck at," Mount Wolf Mayor Maureen "Mo" Starner said Tuesday. "I think this is a possibility, but yet again, we’re at the very beginning stages."

Starner said she wants residents to understand that nothing has been decided and that the police board hasn't even discussed the proposal yet.

Mount Wolf and Manchester boroughs and East Manchester Township are the municipalities served by Northeastern Regional.

Mount Wolf Borough Mayor Maureen Starner questions why the borough's percentage of the Northeastern Regional Police budget should grow since their service hasn't changed as the NERPD Advisory Board discusses options to ensure member townships and boroughs are paying a fair share of the department's budget, Monday, May 18, 2020.
John A. Pavoncello photo

The police board has been at a stalemate for nearly a year over the future of the department and how it will be funded.

The department has been operating under the 2019 budget while the board continues trying to find a solution to the East Manchester Township representatives' complaint that they're paying too much for services.

Adam Bowman is the Manchester Borough Council president and one of two Manchester representatives on the Northeastern Regional Police Board.

Bowman said he hasn't received many details about the proposal, but that the police board will learn more at Monday's meeting.

But he did offer one tidbit about the offer.

"The way I understand it, if we would merge tomorrow, all our officers would have a job," he said.

York Area Regional took over coverage of Spring Grove and competed with Northern York County Regional Police for contracts with two other municipalities after the dissolution of the Southwestern Regional Police Department at the end of 2019.

Northeastern Regional Police Chief Brian Rizzo and York Area Regional Police Chief Tim Damon were unavailable for comment Tuesday.

East Manchester Township officials were also unavailable for comment because it's their stated policy not to speak with reporters outside of public meetings.

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