EDITORIAL: Of course York City Police should fill vacancies

The York Dispatch
  • A call for “troop surge” to combat rampant gun violence in York? Let's hear it.
  • Filling vacancies on the force? That's kind of expected.

A York City teenager was shot and killed Saturday night at the corner of South Penn Street and West College Avenue, the latest in a rash of violent crimes that have left city officials “in utter disbelief and shock at times.”

Two days earlier and just a few blocks away, York City Mayor Kim Bracey and Police Chief Wes Kahley held a news conference during which they condemned the violence and announced the hiring of eight police officers.

More:York City to host gun buyback, replace 8 retiring officers

More:Teen shot to death in York City Saturday

Mourners gather when police say 17-year-old Ce'onty Robinson was shot and killed Saturday night on W. College Ave. near S. Penn St. Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017. John A. Pavoncello photo

That might be just what’s needed right now — and relief to the people who live and work in York City.


These are the folks who would have to pay for a beefier police presence, after all, and that many officers would carry a hefty price tag.

That would be a bold call, but maybe at a time like this the consensus would be it’s worth the cost.

The city’s new Group Violence Intervention program, community outreach, partnerships with the York County District Attorney’s Office and law other enforcement agencies as well as a proposed gun buy-back program also announced at the news conference are all pieces to the solution.

But the biggest piece must be boots on the ground.

Of the “continuous acts of senseless gun violence,” the mayor said officials “are in utter disbelief and shock at times at the recklessness of this type of behavior and what it’s creating in our community.”

York City Police Chief Wes Kahley speaks after Mayor Kim Bracey (center) announced plans to hire eight new officers. Pictured right is York City Councilwoman Judy Ritter-Dickson. Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017. Jason Addy photo.

At the news conference near Penn Park, Bracey urged the York City Council to immediately approve the request for new officers.

“While we know we can’t arrest our way out of this problem, obviously having more police officers, more people on the streets, at this particular time, if no other time, is imperative and is a step we must take,” she said at the news conference.


However …

Bracey and Kahley weren’t really calling for eight additional cops. The new hires would be replacements for retiring officers, the chief said.

Once that process is complete, the department would be back to a full complement of 103 officers.

A call for “troop surge” to combat rampant gun violence in York?

Shout it from the roof of city hall. Start that conversation and make the case.

Keeping the police department adequately staffed by filling vacancies?

That’s just expected.

Let’s hope the city council acts quickly on the request.