Lon Brinckman II believes a majority of East Greenville's residents and business owners favor keeping the Upper Perk Police District. Brinckman hopes to ultimately determine that figure.
"If a majority of people agree to get rid of the department, then I would accept that," he said.
Last weekend, Brinckman and three fellow residents began canvassing the borough. On Saturday, Dec. 10, they covered every residence east of Main Street. He said they knocked on approximately 200 doors and left between 60 and 80 door hangers.
According to Brinckman, they collected more than 120 signatures in support of maintaining the police department, which has covered East Greenville and Pennsburg boroughs since 1973. He also said more than 90 percent of residents who answered their doors expressed support for the department.
"I figured it would be a majority," Brinckman said. "But I was not expecting an overwhelming majority."
Brinckman and the other residents will continue their survey on Saturday, Dec 17. The Washington Street resident said he expects to present his findings – along with a petition requesting the immediate resignation of Mayor Ryan Sloyer, or a request for a no-confidence vote against Sloyer – to borough council by the end of January.
"It could happen sooner," said Brinckman, a former volunteer fireman who works as a warehouse operator.
In September, East Greenville Borough Council voted to dissolve the Upper Perk Police Commission on March 6, 2017. Earlier this month, they voted to extend that date until June 1 in order to allow for mediation with officials from Pennsburg.
The canvassers provided fliers and door hangers – funded by a $285 donation from a benefactor Brinckman declined to identify – to residents detailing the benefits of the police district and East Greenville's projected startup cost for its own police department, which totals between $1.5 million and $2 million.
The fliers claim that on-duty coverage from officers in the proposed East Greenville Police Department – which includes, a full-time chief and one full-time officer, as well as two or three part-time officers – would only occur between 25 and 33 percent of the time, significantly lower than the 75 to 80 percent rate presented by municipal officials.
Currently, officers from the Upper Perk Police District arrive at the scene of an incident within five or 10 minutes, according to information posted on the flier and door hangers. It also states that Pennsylvania State Troopers can take between 45 and 120 minutes to arrive.
According to Brinckman, multiple residents responded to an email, listed on the door hanger, with the intent of keeping the police department. He said two have already signed the petition.
Brinckman stated the recent decision to delay the dissolution of the police department provides citizens with a little more time to act on behalf of the borough. He called it a stall tactic.
"I don't believe meaningful mediation can take place in that time," Brinckman said. "Right now I don't trust a majority of council. Their actions speak louder than their words."
Between 60 and 70 residents signed the petition requesting the removal of Sloyer, according to Brinckman. He indicated that some of the residents said the mayor was wonderful, and others said Sloyer "had to go."