Shoplifters in the commercial hub near Routes 33 and 248 in Lower Nazareth Township have more than loss-prevention staff taking notice.
The Lower Nazareth Board of Supervisors on Sept. 26 gave township manager Timm Tenges permission to pursue the formation of a committee, the sole purpose of which will be to address concerns over the drain of police resources perpetuated by retail thefts.
According to Supervisors Chairman Eric Nagle, the Colonial Regional Police Commission is concerned that its officers are spending less time patrolling the community. On average, Nagle added, one retail theft incident takes about 90 minutes to handle.
“I want to understand why it takes [90 minutes],” Tenges said. "It would be helpful to understand the process in order to figure out a solution that might avoid engaging the officer for an hour and a half."
The township is taking a hard look at how its officers spend their time.
At the same meeting, Nagle told the board that Colonial Regional's budget could climb from $3,163,478 in 2012 to $3,283,661 in 2013 -- an increase of about $120,000 to be shared by Lower Nazareth, Hanover Township (Northampton County) and Bath.
Broken down, here's how Lower Nazareth's share looks:
- 2012 Police Budget: $1,043,332
- 2013 Police Budget (proposed) $1,090,743
- Increase Of: $47,411
A formula is used to determine the share of the budget to be paid by each municipality. That formula consists of:
- Assessed property values;
- And police incidents from the previous year.
Chapman Borough, the home of 234 residents, contracts services.
If all goes well, the soon-to-be formed committee will include representation from the township, police commission, Kohl’s and Wal-Mart.
The Colonial Regional Police Commission meets at 7 p.m. on the fourth Monday of the month at the department's headquarters on Brodhead Road. Meetings are open to the public.