The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local 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
Local News
  • Home is Where The Tribune-Democrat is Delivered!

    April 18, 2014

  • new councilman Judge fills City Council vacancy

    A lifelong Johnstown resident who has never sought election to public office was named Thursday to fill the vacancy on City Council.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cawley Lt. Gov. Cawley pushes jobs plan during Johnstown visit

    Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley got to see firsthand many of the training tools used by Hiram G. Andrews Center students on Thursday and took some time to promote a program called Jobs for All, part of Gov. Tom Corbett’s JOBS1st PA agenda.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • home VIDEO | Volunteers ‘blitz build’ replacement home for Upper Yoder man

    One week ago, Joey Varmecky had almost nothing.
    In October, a flue fire claimed his Swank Street home. That night, Varmecky, a deaf and partially blind man who doesn’t speak, showed up on the doorstep of his friend’s home. His feet were covered only by a pair of stockings.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Toomey & Shuster Bill would help identify unclaimed remains of veterans

    The cremated remains of an estimated 47,000 veterans are stored throughout the United States, sometimes in nothing more than nondescript metal canisters on shelves.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • million Lucky Seward man finds ticket to riches

    People often play the lottery and dream about the things they would do if they won the big one.
    That dream came true for Karl Kadi of Seward, who won $1 million on a $20 Max-A-Million scratch-off lottery ticket.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Farrish, James State police make another drug bust on turnpike

    A Pittsburgh man was jailed Thursday after state police said they found about $120,000 in suspected heroin during a traffic stop on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Stonycreek Township, Somerset County.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sisco, Ryan James & John Patrick Two brothers charged in beating at bar

    Two Johnstown brothers were jailed Wednesday after police said they beat a man so badly he suffered a concussion and may end up blind in one eye.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • path of flood Path of Flood entries due

    Anyone interested in participating in Johnstown Area Heritage Association’s  Path of the Flood Historic Half Marathon and 5K race will need to get in gear before the April 30 registration deadline.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drilling fees should fund education, Democrats say

    Democrats running for governor seem to be competing to convince voters they will dip deepest into the pockets of gas drillers to replace $1 billion that Gov. Tom Corbett has cut from education spending.

    April 17, 2014


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?

I'm not sure
     View Results
House Ads