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Upper Nazareth: Not Enough Time to Consider Nazareth Police Coverage

The Upper Nazareth Board of Supervisors on Dec. 19 said there was insufficient time to properly consider providing police services to Nazareth Borough.

Nazareth Borough Council on Dec. 3 approved a motion to revisit contracting police services from a neighboring municipality. The borough asked six municipalities if they were interested.

But the sirens from Nazareth continue to fall on deaf ears.

With less than a month to mull and draft a proposal, the Upper Nazareth Board of Supervisors on Dec. 19 said there was insufficient time to properly consider providing police services to Nazareth Borough, according to a report in The Express-Times.

The Lower Nazareth Board of Supervisors -- the township is covered by Colonial Regional Police -- came to the same decision Dec. 12, and Palmer Township officials answered the call on Dec. 10 with a swift, stiff "no."

Bushkill Township and each municipality that makes up Colonial Regional were also on the list. Colonial Regional covers Lower Nazareth Township, Bath Borough and Hanover Township (Northampton County). It has a contract to cover Chapman Borough.

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 had guidelines it wanted 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.

According to The Express-Times report, the Upper Nazareth supervisors are open to revisiting the proposal under different guidelines.

For more information and resident response, read "Nazareth Borough Council Revisits Buying Police Coverage" on Nazareth Patch.

Kaos8 January 02, 2013 at 06:34 PM
I have yet to see it made clear in any of these articles..So, for those of you, not in the know. The current Nazareth Police Officers would have to be picked up by another department, if Nazareth goes that route, because Nazareth Police are under a Union Contract... If they are not picked up by another department- guess what- you will also have to pay them for the remainder of their contract... Unless some sort of arrangment can be made..but I doubt any officer would be willing to walk away with nothing..And I don't blame them..They deserve to get paid for working in the horrific conditions they have been made to deal with in the last couple of years. I only want to make it aware, because, if you don't know about it- you might not understand why they are making it a prerequisite for any department who may pick up Nazareth. Just wanted to clarify it for some of these people wondering why they came up with these salaries and why it keeps being mentioned.
Kaos8 January 02, 2013 at 06:39 PM
Now that being said...Doesn't it make sense to just keep Nazareth Police, as their own department? You as residents will have to pay them anyway... I don't know what the salaries are of the other departments asked, but I can tell you, you can't pay some of your guys one thing and other guys something else. The Unions would be in an uproar, and their would be lawsuits all over the place. So, I am sure you all can understand why no other jurisdiction wants to become involved..Nor would they want someone from Nazareth Council telling them how to handle their police department...After all, look how well it has worked out for Nazareth so far....
Dave January 02, 2013 at 08:37 PM
Kaos8, just to be clear, the reason there is a problem with the police department is due to disability insurance costs for the department. In the recent past, police officers collected full disability at an alarming rate causing the insurance premiums into a price range that the borough could not afford going forward. Somebody can correct me if I am wrong but I was told that one such incident of an officer collecting disability for the following reason: -Officer A wanted to know what it was like to to be hit with a taser gun. -Officer B tasered Officer A at Officer A's request. -Officer A fell on the floor due to being tasered and was hurt. -Officer A could not work and therefore collected full disability. The question becomes, if Nazareth is to run its own police department, how to you stop all the insurance claims?
rick troxell January 02, 2013 at 09:44 PM
you need to take a very serious look at the councils ambition to not have a Borough dept. They have chosen to not provide the proper supervision or manpower for years now. Always blaming the police dept. A clear factor in the insurance debate. Lack of Supervision and manpower. .So now they put us up for auction basicly for police coverage. they offer an outside dept 2.8 million over 3 years to protect the borough BUT don't afford the current Chief the same to better grow our current dept. They or at least some of them have continuously blocked all efforts by the dept to grow. Why? At some point over the last 10 to 15 years it is obvious the decisions made concerning the police dept were poor at best. Dave, as for the taser incident. I believe that happen during a training exercise.
Kaos8 January 03, 2013 at 01:51 AM
Dave - if you know the history of many police departments, not just in Northampton County, but all over the country, there always have been and probably always will be some sort of "shananigans", however thorough the training..one cannot babysit every second of the day, during every shift. And by the way, this is a very common training practice for most police departments, that an officer will participate in getting a tasered. Even if this happened not during a training situation- I can name in my many departments, in our county alone, where a similar situation has happened. This is usually with the younger inexperienced officers or gung ho guys...The key is to hire people who are mature enough to handle police work and practice officer safety at all times. Unfortunatley, all departments at one time or another have had an officer or two who were not appropriate... And please don't misunderstand what I am saying..There are some guys that have been doing police work forever that are still acting this way, it is not just the "newbies" right out of the acadamy... The main thing is to let the police department be run by the police department..If Trachta is given the power to do the job, I believe it can be done. He has yet to have been given the chance. This is not his first rodeo, he knows what he is doing.. Let him hire who he needs to hire to get the job done right. Give him the power to get the vehicles he needs, etc...Give him a chance.
Kaos8 January 03, 2013 at 02:01 AM
My main point was, these guys are under a Union Contract w/ Nazareth. If Nazareth somehow pulls off getting some other department to take over and not take these Nazareth Officers... The boro of Nazareth, is still going to have to pay them to fulfill whatever is left of the contract. So, no matter what the outcome, Nazareth will still be paying these guys in some way or another.. My other point is, another department is not going to want to take these guys on w/ a guaranteed salary of x-amount - expecially, if it differs from what the rest of the guys in their department are getting paid. It is my understanding that every police department has their own Union Contract w/ the FOP. I don't know about the insurance thing, but if a taser incident is what you are worried about, there are many other departments in the county that have had worse incidents, than a guy being out for a taser related injury. I can tell you that compared to other departments, Nazareth probably has the average amount of insurance incidents. Cannot Possibly be near the top of the list for insurance problems.
Kaos8 January 03, 2013 at 02:07 AM
Another big thought..Look at Pen Argyl PD- they are a 24hr operation.. Nazareth and Pen Argyl are pretty close in size, and population w/ businesses and residents. If PenArgyl can do it, why can't Nazareth. I can honestly say, it is pretty embarrassing if PenArgyl can make it work, but Nazareth can't. Maybe Boro Council needs to look at what PenArgyl is doing to make it work. I am not saying that they should make Trachta take on the SOP's of PenArgyl PD, but find out money-wise how they are making it work.
Kaos8 January 03, 2013 at 02:15 AM
I can tell you personally, that Nazareth is not even close to the top of the list for Officer Insurance incidents. If you think Nazareth is bad, start researching some other local police insurance incidents in the last 10yrs. I think you would be very surprised..By what you are insinuating as to insurance costs being the problem, most police departments would be shut down.
Mallory Vough (Editor) January 03, 2013 at 02:21 AM
In August, Pen Argyl's council voted in support of a state study that recommends five Slate Belt municipalities form a regional police force. I attended Pen Argyl High School and still frequent the Slate Belt, so I was keeping tabs on that.

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