Regionalization of the is still on the table as is removed from the force and costs continue to rise.
“In the last six years, the police budget has grown 52 percent,” Mayor Fred Daugherty told borough council members Thursday night. “Costs will eat you alive if you don’t put the clamps on them.”
Although costs are rising, personnel numbers are dropping. Officer Eric Swanson resigned from the department on Feb. 1 and has been placed on permanent disability. In December, Vanessa Cruz-Smith was terminated.
“We’re in dire straits in the police department right now,” Daugherty said. “It’s council’s due diligence to look at this … we need to look at all of the possibilities and options.”
On , Daugherty plans to present council members with a template that will outline what the borough hopes to accomplish with current officers and what regionalization may bring to the community.
“This is certainly not a slap in the face of our current officers,” Daugherty said. “We need to look at every avenue so we can provide the best service to the residents of this town.”
Studies have shown that can offer more services at a lower cost to residents. There are 32 regional forces in the Commonwealth, according to Police Chief Roy Seiple.
This isn’t the first time Nazareth has considered a police department merger. The borough was poised to become part of Colonial Regional when the department was formed in 1995, but Nazareth's mayor vetoed involvement, said Seiple, who was a Nazareth police officer at the time.