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Commissioners agree police regionalization may be the future

Lycoming County Commissioners seem to agree that police regionalization may be drawing closer to reality.

While batting around the idea at their meeting Tuesday, they noted the cost-savings and sharing of services and resources realized by communities.

“It’s going to happen either through economic forces or people will push for it,” Commissioner Rick Mirabito said.

The pushback against regionalization, he added, may come from those who feel a loss of local control within their municipalities.

Commissioner Jack McKernan said regionalization is certainly a “great thing” for communities to consider.

Several years ago, Jersey Shore formed an agreement with Porter Township to form the Tiadaghton Valley Regional Police Department. Since that time, neighboring Nippenose and Piatt townships have been added to the agreement for police coverage of their communities.

Now, Woodward and Old Lycoming Townships are looking to become part of the Tiadaghton agreement.

John Shireman, of Jersey Shore, said regional police coverage has been of benefit to that area with police costs spread across different municipalities.

McKernan said start-up costs for regionalization can be a stumbling block, but in the long run it can pay off for communities and their residents.

Commissioner Tony Mussare said the city of Williamsport should be considered as part of any police regionalization concept.

“The ultimate goal is to provide safety,” Mirabito said.

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