The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

July 10, 2013

Regional police study progresses

JOHNSTOWN — The state group studying the possibility of a regional Windber-Paint area police department said it hopes to have estimates by September on what it will cost to field a force of that size.

But that will be  only the first phase of three in creating an independent, commission-run department for Windber, Scalp Level, Benson, Central City and Paint boroughs and Shade and Paint townships, said Ron Stern, a local government specialist with the Center for Local Government Services.

Center for Local Government Services staff also will work with communities interested in pushing the plan forward to decide how the board overseeing the department would operate – and then help develop a plan to get the police force off the ground, consultant Bill Gamble said.

Gamble added that they will likely recommend a police department with seven full-time officers – the total number currently patrolling the territory of the communities considering a regional force – as well as additional part-timers to fill in gaps, but stressed it ultimately will be up to local leaders to decide.

“There’s no right or wrong way to do this ... it’s different for everybody,” Stern told representatives from the communities that attended. “In the end, this may be a police department formed by three of the communities and the others might decide to purchase service from that department.”

“The study,” Gamble added, “is meant to suit local needs.”

In the next few weeks, Gamble said he will look more closely at data being provided by the communities, including local police calls, road miles and population, to determine estimates on what each community’s share toward the regional force might look like.

There also are indirect costs to consider such as annual fuel costs for the roads police will cover, he noted.

Some local officials were hoping to have an idea on cost estimates this week – an issue magnified by the fact that many communities will be starting to plan for their 2014 budget next month.

“We’re kind of in limbo right now,” said Windber Borough Manager Fred Oliveros, who attended the meeting.

Stern said he and Gamble understand their concern. He said it’s a reason they’ve split the study into phases and will meet again with the communities to update them as soon as figures are available.

Shade Township Supervisor John Topka said his community can afford to take a wait-and-see approach – but is just as interested in seeing cost estimates.

Shade Township, the only community not covered by Paint Township’s department participating in the study, operates a four-officer force with one full-time patrolman for approximately $150,000.

“We’ll continue to budget for that in the meantime,” Topka said. “They say consolidation is the way to go these days ... it seems like a win-win if we can save money on our (police) costs. But we’ll see how it all plays out.”

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

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

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • foust_25 Teen shot in Oakhurst

    A 16-year-old New Jersey boy was taken to Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center on Thursday after being shot three times in the Oakhurst section of Johnstown.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Audit: City overspent by $700G in 2013

    Legacy costs contributed significantly to the city of Johnstown coming up $689,000 short in its core services funding during 2013.

    July 24, 2014

  • Kuzma, jonathan Guilty plea in hammer death

    The Johnstown man who authorities said killed his father with a hammer last year pleaded guilty Wednesday to criminal homicide, authorities said.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • quecreek rescue Events to mark anniversary of Quecreek rescue

    When word spread that nine Quecreek miners were trapped underground in July 2002, Bill Arnold’s dairy farm quickly became the rescue effort’s ground zero.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Huger, Stephen Accused Hornerstown shooter will stand trial

    A Johnstown man will stand trial in connection with a July 12 shooting in the Hornerstown section of the city.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tribune Treasure!

    July 24, 2014

  • Board names Zahorchak’s successor

    The Greater Johnstown school board at a special meeting Thursday named a superintendent to replace the retiring superintendent, rehired its last business manager and approved other administrative appointments.

    July 24, 2014

  • Pasquerilla, Mark Pasquerilla recognized as arts patron

    First lady Susan Corbett announced Thursday from the Jimmy Stewart Museum in Indiana, Pa., that Mark Pasquerilla of Johnstown has earned the Patron Award from the 2014 Governor’s Awards for the Arts.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ebensburg gets ready to party

    Party down with a shutdown.
    Downtown Shutdown, a street party featuring music and food, will be held from 7 to 11 p.m. Friday in downtown Ebensburg.

    July 24, 2014

  • ROTARY Local Rotary Club earns recognition

    The Rotary Club of Johnstown was named Outstanding Large Club of the Year in District 7330, which serves 42 Rotary Clubs in seven counties in southwest Pennsylvania, at the Rotary District 7330 and District 7300 Joint Conference that was held June 26 through 29 at Seven Springs Mountain Resort.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo


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
House Ads