The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Latest News

October 20, 2013

Downsizing ahead for Paint Twp. police force

JOHNSTOWN — Paint Township’s police force next year likely will be a lot like the one the township fielded years ago – before it was bolstered to cover neighboring communities, supervisors said Tuesday.

Chief Rick Skiles will likely oversee a department about the same size as the one the township staffed before adding Paint Borough, Windber and other communities to its coverage area, Supervisors Joe Huff Jr. and Andy Tvardzik told residents.

“We’re trying to go back to our old system. That’s our plan,” Tvardzik told residents.

With negotiations with the Teamsters union still ongoing, supervisors have not discussed department size specifics, aside from saying they are budgeting $314,000 for police in 2014.

The department has employed a roster of 15 or so in recent months, including seven full-time officers who cover Paint Borough, Scalp Level, Central City, Benson and Windber.

In 2008, the department, which then only patrolled its own borders along with Central City and Benson, staffed nine officers, including three full-time patrolmen, plus Skiles as a part-time chief, records show.

At the time, the department’s budget was a bit less than $300,000, township officials said.

Paint Township’s force will only patrol its own territory as of January, according to current plans.

Huff said one clerk likely will remain with the township, while the other police clerk is expected to land a job in Windber.

“If we’re going to have a limited force, I’d rather have those officers on patrol than in the office filing reports,” he said.

The idea makes sense, said Skiles.

“There’s a lot more red tape with these reports than there used to be. Reports must be filed (properly). Records must be kept,” he said.

Skiles, currently Paint’s full-time chief, will return on a part-time level next year, while also serving as Windber’s chief. His one-year township contract was set at $25 an hour, with an annual $20,000 cap.

Huff said the township will closely monitor all expenses in the first quarter of 2014 to see if the department is on line with the projected budget.

“If we have to make changes, we will,” he said.

Benson Borough Council suggested earlier this month that it may approach Paint Township about reconsidering a decision to no longer patrol the small borough.

It’s a request Huff said the township might consider, if all goes well.

“But we can’t make any promises,” Huff said.

“We’re not going to look at anything like that until after the first quarter of next year. We have a responsibility to take care of our taxpayers first,” he said.

David Hurst covers Paint Township and the Windber area for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/tddavidhurst.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
  • Biggest student loan profits come from grad students

    This week, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the federal government would earn roughly $127 billion from student lending during the next 10 years.

    April 19, 2014

  • Smartphone kill switches are coming

    Smartphones need kill switches. It's a relatively easy solution to the pricey (and irritating) problem of smartphone theft. But who would have thought that the big carriers would team up with Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung and lots of other manufacturers to voluntarily begin adding the technology by July 2015? The cooperative spirit! It makes so much sense!

    April 19, 2014

  • The case for separate beds

    The other night I slept on a twin bed in the guest room of the house I share with my husband and our two kids.
    It was the best night's sleep I've had in years.

    April 19, 2014

  • Why do wolves howl?

    Of all the myths that dog the wolf, none is more widely accepted than the idea that wolves howl at the moon. Images of wolves with their heads upturned, singing at the night sky, are as unquestioned as a goldfish's three-second memory or a dog's color-blindness (both also myths).

    April 19, 2014

  • Raw oysters spike U.S. rise in bacterial infections, CDC reports

    Raw oysters, so good with hot sauce, increasingly can carry something even more unsettling to the stomach: A bacteria linked to vomiting, diarrhea and pain.

    April 19, 2014

  • Consumer spending on health care jumps as Affordable Care Act takes hold

    Nancy Beigel has known since September that she would need hernia surgery. She couldn't afford it on her $11,000 yearly income until she became eligible for Medicaid in January through President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

    April 19, 2014

  • VIDEO | Boston bomb scare defendant appears in court

    The man accused of carrying a backpack containing a rice cooker near the Boston Marathon finish line on the anniversary of the bombings was arraigned Wednesday. He's being held on $100,000 bail.

    April 19, 2014

  • Denne, Williams & Stanton Records hearing scheduled

    A Cambria County judge will consider complaints filed by two Johnstown residents seeking documents related to the city’s municipal waste water operation at hearing at the end of this month.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sen. Bob Casey Casey targets heroin

    The heroin trade has brought addiction, death, violence and theft to Johnstown and other Pennsylvania communities.
    Figuring out how to deal with those issues is difficult for local, state and federal officials.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drive-in to open with high-tech projector

    Drive-in movie theaters and the term “state of the art” seldom share the same sentence.
    But that will soon be the case for the Silver Drive-In, it’s owner said. The Scalp Avenue site, often marketed as a nostalgic summer night escape, soon will boast a high-end projector capable of displaying the latest and greatest blockbusters in razor sharp high-definition, theater owner Rick Rosco said.

    April 18, 2014

Poll

Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

Yes
No
I'm not sure
     View Results
Order Photos


Photo Slideshow

House Ads