Jersey Shore takes correct fire, police protection approach

Jersey Shore borough is becoming big in the merger, consolidation and regionalization business these days. And that’s a good thing.

The borough council recently approved a letter of intent for its two fire departments to merge. The consolidation between Citizens Hose Co. is being pushed to help best maintain firefighting capabilities for the borough’s residents.

The two companies are comprised of 125 members, but membership in both companies has been dropping in recent years.

On the police side, borough leaders are pushing an effort by the Tiadaghton Valley Regional Police Department to offer policing to municipalities that can’t afford their own departments.

The department is the product of a merger in recent years of police coverage by Jersey Shore and some neighboring municipalities. The latest effort would further regionalize local police coverage in the western part of Lycoming County.

In both the fire and police situations, consolidation and regionalization are the correct approach.

The manpower issues regarding volunteer fire companies are here to stay and consolidation of manpower, equipment and leadership among neighboring municipalities is the best answer.

And local police departments aren’t affordable for many smaller municipalities, even though their residents want local police protection. Relying on state police means a delay in receiving police service because of the distance between the western end of the county and the barracks in Montoursville. Paying for larger, nearby municipalities to provide that protection is the best answer in that circumstance.

These are not new topics of discussion, but Jersey Shore seems to be handling the fire and police protection issues better than many municipalities in the area.