The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Latest News

February 22, 2013

Forest Hills group rethinks regional police

— Although the plan was abandoned six years ago, the Forest Hills Regional Alliance has begun to re-examine the feasibility of a consolidated, regional police force that would serve all its member boroughs.

“We had a meeting (Wednesday) night and it seems we’ve got a bit of traction now,” said David Knepper, executive director for the alliance. “Municipal officials have expressed interest in moving forward.”

Knepper said he already has started laying the “blueprints” for the project, but with an awareness of the financial concerns that stunted the plan last time.

“The biggest hurdle is trying to convince municipal governments that this is financially feasible to do,” he said. “(But), how do you put a price tag on public safety?”

The four departments coming together are Summerhill Township, South Fork Borough, Croyle Township and Adams Township, the largest of the four.

“This gives more officers on the ground here 24/7, which they don’t have, except for Adams Township,” Knepper said.

Although an entirely new budget would need to be drafted, Knepper said the consolidation could be complete as early as this year, making it the 34th regional police force in Pennsylvania.

Kirk Moss, Adams Township police chief, opted at Wednesday’s meeting to become a consulting adviser to the new task force. He also shares Knepper’s feeling that the timing is right for united law enforcement.

“I truly believe the last time they looked at it, they were looking at it only from a financial standpoint,” Moss said.

“(But), you’re paying for that professional availability. If that large crime does occur, we’ll be capable of handling it.

“That’s truly the purpose of regionalization,” he said.

Moss was eager to point out that area school districts were regionalized in the early 1960s. The sewer system was consolidated in the early 1980s.

“Regionalization just makes sense,” said Knepper.

“We think it’s more effective, more efficient and will provide better protection and service for our residents.”

Aside from more patrols regularly policing the streets, Knepper said the plan also could allow for more investigations by plainclothes officers and new detective divisions. Discrepancies or miscommunication in jurisdiction ranges would also become moot.

“It’s a concentrated effort on the general populace,” Moss said.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
  • Smaller payout to seniors urged

    State Lottery officials say less means more for seniors.

    July 29, 2014

  • Portage ambulance aid will add portable CPR device, other tools

    Federal funding awarded to Portage Area Ambulance Association will soon put “a third man” alongside their two-person crews when emergencies occur, ambulance operations manager Edward Nelson said.

    July 29, 2014

  • paint_twp building Paint Township considers offering part of building for rent

    Four years after Paint Township built an addition at the Basin Drive building to house its growing police department, much of the new space likely will be offered for rent this fall because the township supervisors say it's no longer needed.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Old Rockwood hotel will soon be history

    The historic – but dilapidated – Merchants Hotel in Rockwood is expected to be razed soon.
    On Tuesday, Somerset County’s three commissioners unanimously agreed to a demolition plan for the building, which was constructed in the 1880s. The arrangement calls for a private citizen, William Nair, to tear down the structure at 703 Main St. in exchange for being allowed to keep any salvageable materials.

    July 29, 2014

  • ATV blast ready to roll at Rock Run

    Organizers are keeping the spirit of the Fisher’s ATV Reunion at Rock Run Recreation Area alive despite losing the support of the award-winning Outdoor Channel TV show “Fisher’s ATV World.” Now called the Rock Run ATV Summer Blast, the event will continue to offer demonstration rides, motor competitions, product vendors, live music, camping and trail riding.

    July 29, 2014

  • Culvert 1 Preservationists use age-old method at historic site

    Preservation work on two historic culverts associated with the Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site has been completed. The culverts were reconstructed using a variety of techniques, including dry stone masonry, which was used to build the culverts more than 180 years ago.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local briefs 7/30/2014

    July 29, 2014

  • Report: Local jobless rate up in June

    A report released Tuesday by the Department of Labor and Industry showed an increase in unemployment locally from 6.4 to 7.1 percent in June.

    July 29, 2014

  • Detroit dealer admits role in Johnstown heroin ring, could face life in prison

    For more than a year, Kenneth “Kane” Carter ran his drug ring like a fine-tuned business, federal prosecutors said following his 2012 indictment.

    July 29, 2014

  • Police: Women stole thousands from elderly sisters, used money to show St. Bernards

    Two western Pennsylvania women have been charged with stealing thousands of dollars from two elderly sisters and using the money to attend dog shows.

    July 29, 2014


What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
Order Photos

Photo Slideshow

House Ads