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Lower Nazareth: Not Enough Time to Consider Nazareth Police Coverage

The Lower Nazareth Board of Supervisors says it does not have enough time to properly consider adding Nazareth Borough to Colonial Regional Police Department's coverage area.

With less than a month to mull and draft a proposal, the Lower Nazareth Board of Supervisors says there is insufficient time to properly consider adding Nazareth Borough to Colonial Regional Police Department's coverage area.

"It’s too fast and there are too many details to consider," said Vice Chairman Robert Kucsan during a meeting Wednesday night. "If I have to say now, I say no. I don’t know if it’s a good deal."

Nazareth Borough Council approved a motion Dec. 3 to revisit contracting police services from a neighboring municipality. Nazareth wants an outside source to provide police services and asked six municipalities -- three of which make up Colonial Regional Police -- if they were interested.

The deadline to reply is Dec. 31.

"That’s kind of ridiculous," Supervisor Gerald Green said of the 28-day consideration period.

Chairman Eric Nagle expressed concern over the borough's request for a three-year contract at a cost not to exceed $2.8 million.

A formula is used to determine the share of the Colonial Regional Police budget to be paid by Lower Nazareth, Bath Borough and Hanover Township (Northampton County). That formula consists of:

  • Assessed property values;
  • Population;
  • And police incidents from the previous year.

"We pay by the incident," Nagle explained. "How will the fixed cost [proposed by Nazareth] work? Also, Nazareth has a lot of parades, Nazareth Days, etc. If we have a fixed cost, how will that work? None of it is spelled out."

The borough is also requesting to make equal, quarterly payments beginning in March, "but they’re asking for services to start in January. I’d want to see the payments upfront," Nagle said.

Nagle also found issue with the mandatory hiring of Nazareth’s three full-time officers -- with wages and benefits at least equal to the current Nazareth police contract.

"There is a process in place for hiring and testing that takes place," he said, adding that the application process is open to those officers. They shouldn't, however, be guaranteed positions, he said.

Agreeing to periodic foot patrols in the business district made Supervisor James Pennington uneasy.

"We don’t do foot patrols in the municipalities now," he said, adding that agreement may lead to foot-patrol requests in the rest of Colonial Regional's coverage area.

Nagle will bring the board's concerns to the Dec. 17 Colonial Regional Police Commission meeting, which is open to the public. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. and is held at the department's headquarters on Brodhead Road.

This isn't the first time Nazareth Borough has looked to Colonial Regional Police for coverage. In December 2011, Nazareth Mayor Fred Daugherty Jr. withdrew his recommendation to buy coverage from Colonial Regional Police after negotiations failed to move forward.

Ben Miller December 13, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Like we've said before, Nazareth Borough's Mayor and Council are grossly misunderstanding the situation. They do not have the leverage to give demands about hiring their officers, foot patrols or leasing their police station. Everyone who has read a newspaper or watched the story unfold on Patch knows that Nazareth is in dire straits with its police force. It's been underfunded and mismanaged for many years and they need a solution immediately. It's no surprise that the municipalities and Colonial Regional are going to laugh at Nazareth's demands and then it will be no surprise when the Mayor of Nazareth becomes indignant with the replies he gets. The ones not laughing, are the folks who live in Nazareth borough, have children who attend school in the borough or frequently do business in local Nazareth shops.
Ben Miller December 13, 2012 at 06:28 PM
Great article, by the way. The Patch does a very good job at passing along these local stories with all the details.
Kaos8 December 13, 2012 at 08:04 PM
Not to mention all the drama in Nazareth with the Mayor and Council- it is no wonder that Colonial Regional is not an option. Why would anyone want to get involved w/ an area where elected council members think they should be able to run the show- concerning police matters. Do any of these council members have a law enforcement background or any kind of background that would make anyone think they know what they are doing concerning police in the borough? This "Shopping around" is just a stall tactic and the residents in the area are paying for it. This nonsense affects anyone living in and visiting the borough- why can't they just get their "crap" together and do the right thing.
Kaos8 December 13, 2012 at 08:10 PM
People getting stabbed and robbed outside their homes, drunks causing brawls and other nuisance problems in the borough- cause anyone who used to pay patronage to Nazareth, to not want to go here. We can all go somewhere else to do our busines and socialize, where we know there will be police coverage when it is needed. When the crime rate goes up and more criminal element starts hanging out in Nazareth because they know they may get away with whatever they plan on doing- Maybe then something will get done. It is a shame that it may have to come to that..Nazareth used to be such a great place to be.
alivettg December 13, 2012 at 09:25 PM
Unreal!!
rick troxell December 13, 2012 at 10:44 PM
round and round and round we go. A proposal that gives an outside dept almost a quarter of a million more dollars a year than the council budgets to the current dept. When are they going to tell the taxpayers what the tax increase is going to be and what exactly the coverage will be. The increase should have already been figured out at 2.8 million for 3 years. then whats this about January. Didn't here that at the council mtg when Herbst was reading the proposal. I honestly think that the legal challenges to come should this occur will wake us all up. There is oh so much more to this story than we are aware of at this point. I mean they vote to hire yet don't. Why don't they just tell us what is already decided no matter what the proposal interest is?
rick troxell December 13, 2012 at 10:51 PM
underfunded yet they are willing to fund someone else beyond the budget our dept gets by almost a quater of a miliion dollars a year??. Mismanaged due to councils poor judgement when it comes to law enforcement. Politics and law are not good bed partners obviously.
Mallory Vough (Editor) December 14, 2012 at 12:03 AM
Thank you, Ben!
JASON GABRIEL December 14, 2012 at 09:35 AM
Has anyone looked at PAST PRACTICE of the Council at police contract renewal time? My god people, this has been a tactic used numerous times with success, and suffering. This time there is much suffering! NAZARETH police call volume and type for the Borough creates a need for 4 officers per shift every shift. That would be a staff of 12 total if you want the math done for you. Nazareth has a stable and capable tax base to support a staffing increase to these numbers, however, that would lessen councils bargaining power. How, you ask? In PAST PRACTICE, Council places requests or demands upon the current officers that causes undue stress through overperformance of duties. This places officers and people at risk. Health and home life begin to suffer for those involved and relief is sought. That may be why Nazareth has less than PREVAILING WAGE when compared to neighboring departments. That may be why Nazareth has LESS THAN required MINIMUM STAFFING REQUIRED compared to neighboring departments. THAT IS EXACTLY why injuries and insurance claims happen, and the list goes on. What is a human life/security worth? By the rate of action that Council has taken, they choose to shop at -your risk- dear citizens. Meanwhile they deepen the quagmire of stagnation, at risk to all. To see the police force at proper size would be wonderful however costly. The idea of 5 officers doing the work of 12 is ridiculous and risky. That would be a repeat of 2007.
JASON GABRIEL December 14, 2012 at 09:41 AM
I miss you all and pray for your wellbeing. May there be peace and tranquility this holiday season for you.
rick troxell December 14, 2012 at 05:06 PM
thanks Jason. As I said before. the legal fees (you'd be shocked) and the comp insurance issue are councils fault for failing to reman an maintain a dept properly which once was and constantly interferring with law enforcements job.(some council members). Every excuse in the book has been used to put the blame everywhere except where it mostly belongs.. Just my opion but look at the facts. I understand know one comes forth with the truth because we all need our jobs but until the real truth is told this will simply continue on.

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