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East Greenville Looking to Add Third Full-time Officer
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            East Greenville's mayor announced Tuesday night that his 2018 draft budget for the borough's police department shows more than $274,000 of savings in operating costs.  Mayor Ryan Sloyer said those savings include the addition of a third full-time officer. During the public meeting, borough council voted to allow Sloyer to move forward with a plan to promote Officer Joshua Halteman.

            Ryan Pugh cast the lone vote against the measure that allows the mayor and Chief Drew Skelton to begin the process of advancing Halteman from part-time to full-time.

            Halteman, hired in August, has done an excellent job dealing with borough residents in a professional and respectful manner, according to Sloyer.  "He is a perfect fit for East Greenville Borough," the mayor said after the meeting.

            The addition of a third full-time officer would reduce the number of hours covered by the state police and allow for additional traffic enforcement, according to municipal officials. 

            Council President Tracey Hunsinger told the audience that the board working to create a civil service commission, which would oversee the hiring and disciplinary issues related to the department.  Municipal officials hope to have the commission in place when the new full-time officer is approved, according to Hunsinger.

            If Halteman is promoted he would become the department's first officer to receive benefits, such as health insurance. Its other members had those benefits before being hired.

            After the meeting, Sloyer explained that the council could afford to pay those benefits due to significant savings created by its withdrawal from the Upper Perk Police Commission.

            The mayor announced that his proposed budget for next year's police department includes expenses totaling $403,484. He estimated that if the borough had remained in the Upper Perk Police Commission, it would have had to contribute $677,598 in 2018. Sloyer then described the difference, $274,114, as an operating budget saving.

            The police budget includes the hiring of a part-time police secretary, according to the mayor.

            In other news, council approved a request by Sloyer to spend up to $3,500 to purchase a computer for the department's second police vehicle. The members also voted to purchase a copier/printer for the department at a cost of $550. Pugh voted against both motions.

            Early in the meeting, Hunsinger announced that council held two executive sessions since the last public meeting. She said the members met privately at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 18 to discuss the litigation filed against the borough by Pennsburg with their solicitor.

            According to the council president, they convened privately at 6:30 p.m. prior to Tuesday's public meeting to discuss the same lawsuit with the attorney provided by the borough's insurance carrier. Hunsinger also said they also discussed personnel issues related to the police department.

            During the public meeting, Hunsinger said that once municipal officials pay the deductible to that carrier, they won't be incurring additional legal fees. After the meeting, at the advice of Solicitor Stephen Kramer, she declined to disclose the amount of that deductible.





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