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Spring Grove council votes to join York Area Police

Tina Locurto
York Dispatch
Southwestern Regional Police Department in Heidelberg Township, Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Spring Grove Borough Council voted Monday to approve hiring a new police agency in the wake of Southwestern Regional Police likely dissolving by year's end. 

Monday's vote means just one municipality among those covered by Southwestern Regional Police has yet to vote to contract with another agency for police coverage. 

The council voted unanimously to hire York Area Regional Police under a five-year contract. 

"That is contingent on Southwestern dissolving,"  borough manager Andrew Shaffer said. 

Next year, Spring Grove will pay $356,544 for 80 hours of service per week. The borough paid $364,000 this year to Southwestern Regional. 

Officials previously distributed a survey for residents of which police agency they prefer, with votes leaning toward YARP, Shaffer said. 

York Area Regional Police in York Township, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Northern York County Regional Police and the Pennsylvania State Police were also considered. 

Shaffer said the next steps the borough needs to take would be finalizing the contract with York Area Regional, which includes the term of the contract, a scenario in which the borough wanted to "get out" of the contract later and how the police agency will supply Spring Grove.

Members of Southwestern Regional Police's board are considering dissolving the department after its biggest financial contributor, North Codorus Township, voted earlier this year to leave the department in 2020 and contract with Northern Regional Police. 

The cost to dissolve the department has not yet been determined. Southwestern's police board has not officially voted to disband the department, but it has taken steps to begin the process. 

Signs supporting the service of Southwestern Regional Police appear along a road in Stoverstown Tuesday, March 19, 2019. In October, supervisors submitted their intent to abandon the service of the by the end of 2019, citing rising costs as the reason behind the departure. Bill Kalina photo

Since, Northern York County Regional Police and York Area Regional Police have jockeyed for coverage contracts with Heidelberg Township, Manheim Township and Spring Grove. 

Spring Grove is the first municipality to choose York Area over Northern Regional. Manheim Township voted in October to contract with Northern Regional next year.

Heidelberg Township is the only municipality among those covered by Southerwestern Police that hasn't voted to contract with another agency. 

Matt Bollinger, a Heidelberg township supervisor, said that board is expected to vote on a police contract on Dec. 4. 

That meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Heidelberg Township municipal building, 6424 York Road. 

— Reach Tina Locurto at tlocurto@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.