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Montgomery debates police regionalization

MONTGOMERY – Police regionalization in the Montgomery area remains a possibility, borough officials said.

Borough Police Cpl. Eric Winters says the next step is to get a list of goals before borough councils of Montgomery and Muncy and township supervisors in Clinton, Brady and Muncy Creek.

Winters recently led a group discussion, the sixth one he has had since bringing up the idea and writing a 30-plus page regional police study, using facts and information he garnered from 37 regional forces across the state and other state agencies.

Consolidation would be less cost to boroughs but might cost townships which receive coverage from state police, he said.

But the regional police department would be professional and accountable to a police commission. It would have more police patrol and coverage that the municipal police alone can provide, he said.

He cited the recent merger of South Williamsport and DuBoistown as an example of the movement happening across the county.

The regional force can have patrol officers positions throughout the coverage area, Winters said.

That is an advantage for individuals who would be committing crimes and not know where the police are located, he said.

Regional and shared police service discussions stalled a little bit after the recent general election, Winters said.

The elections have brought new members on councils and at the township levels, he said, adding they are new and may want to hear more about the regionalization concept.

Muncy Police Chief Jim Dorman attended the meeting as did a few council members, mayors and township supervisors

Dorman noted that Civil Service requirements may be different with a regional force.

Some applicants are good test takers, but have little police experience and training, he said.

Others are experienced police officers, but are not good at taking tests, he said.

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