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Nazareth Borough Council Revisits Buying Police Coverage

Nazareth Borough Council will revisit the option of contracting police services from a neighboring municipality; the borough will reach out to Upper Nazareth, Bushkill and Palmer townships, in addition to Colonial Regional Police.

Nazareth Borough wants an outside source to provide police services, and will ask six municipalities -- three of which make up Colonial Regional Police -- to provide a proposal detailing the services available.

Nazareth Borough Council on Monday unanimously approved a motion to send a “Request for Proposal” to Upper Nazareth, Bushkill and Palmer townships. Colonial Regional Police, and each municipality that makes up the department, will also be included.

Nazareth Mayor Fred Daugherty Jr. in December 2011 withdrew his recommendation to buy coverage from Colonial Regional Police after negotiations failed to move forward.

This time around, the borough has guidelines it would like each municipality to keep in mind:

  • Three-year contract at a cost not to exceed $2.8 million.
  • The borough’s three full-time officers must be added to the police department of the contracting municipality with wages and benefits at least equal to the current Nazareth police contract.

    Police Chief -- $67,830
    Patrolman (over 6 years) -- $59,660
    Patrolman (after 4 years) -- $55,979
  • The contracting municipality must agree to lease and operate a substation at 134 S. Main St.
  • The contracting municipality agrees to periodic foot patrols in the business district and business checks.
  • Nazareth Borough Council shall be permitted to appoint a liaison to attend all Police Committee meetings and receive all correspondence.

The deadline to reply is Dec. 31.

The decision to dig deeper into the option of contracting police services, according to Council President Dan Chiavaroli, was made after merger talks led to a dead end.

Korine Behler, a Nazareth resident who recently has been outspoken on the ongoing policing issue, tried to understand why Council isn’t interested in rebuilding the Nazareth Borough Police Department.

“I think [Police Chief Thomas Trachta is] perfectly capable of making a run of it,” Behler said. “Give him a year. Give him a say with who he’s hiring. I think that should be a big part of it. Is there something I’m missing? Why isn’t [rebuilding the borough’s department] an option? I don’t understand.”

Marlene Stanat echoed Behler’s sentiment. 

“Why can’t we just strengthen our own police department,” she wondered. “Our police department is trying to give us coverage. Why rely on other people when we have a police department that’s capable?... We need people who know us. We need people who know the circumstances of Nazareth and know what’s happening in Nazareth. What does [Palmer Township] know about us?” 

Councilman Jack Herbst, who is also the chairman of Council's Police Committee, admitted that it remains to be seen if contracting services will save the borough money.

“At this point in time, we don’t know if it will save us money or not,” Herbst said. “It depends on the proposals we get back. Once we get the proposals, we will see what is best for the community.” 

If contracting services doesn’t work out, the councilman -- prompted by Behler -- stopped short of saying his colleagues would revisit the idea of rebuilding the borough’s department. 

Herbst said, “If it comes back that the services aren’t what we want, then…”

Council will hold a special meeting at 7:45 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 6. The purpose of the meeting is to interview candidates for a seat recently vacated by the Rev. William Matz.

rm December 05, 2012 at 01:19 AM
Rick, Has the borough ever undergone a forensic audit? It would be interesting to see where the money budgeted for the police was spent. It would be more interesting to see where all the money budgeted for the borough was spent over the last ten years.
rick troxell December 05, 2012 at 03:08 AM
Rm. Good question. Having googled it and now know what it is ir sure would be interesting. Will have to research that much further. Thanks
JASON GABRIEL December 05, 2012 at 08:40 PM
The motion for this action was started by councilman HERBST, ok thats allright. How though, does a second come from a man, on bail and judicial order preventing him from influencing the police dept? Wow, thats a huge conflict of interest.
alivettg December 06, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Yes, I see your point! Wow
rick troxell December 08, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Odd how they are willing to increase the budget a couple hundred thousand a year to go outside for coverage but not do the same with our own. Really???? What exactly is the real truth here? The decision has already been made and they are just waiting for the legal committments to expire and the deal is done I would bet.

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