Montgomery police chief awaits contract

MONTGOMERY – The new police chief has been on the job for about one month and already the borough has seen two arrests related to drug offenses.

“We recently had two heroin-related arrests,” Mayor Andrew Onufrak II said while standing with Chief Gregory Drollinger, 31, after Tuesday night’s council meeting.

“It’s a new department,” Onufrak said.

Drollinger said he has not yet signed a contract. The borough is working out those details, Onufrak said.

Drollinger will earn $23 per hour and work less than 40 hours per week, according to a draft of the contract.

Council remains committed to hiring another part-time police officer and the Police Committee, consisting of representatives of the borough and Brady Township, is preparing to hold interviews before a selection.

As chief, Drollinger’s employment does not fall under the collective bargaining unit. Instead, Drollinger’s contract is with the borough and he is under the mayor and hired by the council.

As Onufrak spoke beside Drollinger, the mayor seemed upbeat about Drollinger’s ideas regarding law enforcement and community policing.

Drollinger has worked for the Watsontown Police Department in neighboring Northumberland County, a community much like Montgomery with a small-town atmosphere but experiencing large city-like problems, such as drug dealing and drug use.

“This is a longtime position,” Onufrak said, alluding to change happening gradually.

The mayor said the borough is part of a growing region and while it may have differences with neighboring municipalities, the commonalities are its strength.

“We’re all on the same team,” he said.

In other business, it appears fireworks – while popular with residents – continue to cost more, but were said to be worth the investment.

The cost of the fireworks display was $6,850, according to Borough Manager John Lynch Sr.

The amount of donations to cover the expense as of the meeting were $4,986, leaving a balance of $1,864.

That means the borough, the water authority and Brady and Clinton township owe $466 apiece, he said.