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EGPD Back on the Chopping Block
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            East Greenville Borough Council is taking another swing at dismantling the municipality's police department. At 8 p.m. on Friday, council will host a special public meeting to trigger that process.

            The members will possibly vote to authorize the solicitor to prepare an ordinance to disband the East Greenville Police Department, according to a legal notice published in the current edition of the Town and Country newspaper.

            Council called for the special meeting because it failed to eliminate the three-officer department earlier this month, according to Mayor Keith Gerhart.

            "We want to get it done and out of the way," he said late Tuesday afternoon. "It's taking up a lot of time, and we need to get it behind us one way or another."

            According to Gerhart, council is expected to vote to disband the department at another special meeting on January 30.

            Member Lon Brinckman II stated Tuesday that he will likely support the motion. He expressed a preference for the Upper Perk Police Department to provide coverage in the borough, but added that the proposal "has to make sense" to receive his vote.

            Brinckman said he favored the neighboring community's department over the East Greenville Police due to its proposal to provide round-the-clock coverage and high level of service. "The quality of the product provided by the Upper Perk Police is high quality," he said.

            The newly elected council member argued that the municipality's police department, which started June 1, needs to be disbanded because "the manner in which it was created was not in the best interest of the borough."

            According to Brinckman, the previous council created the department in a "hasty and less than professional manner. I have several questions about things being overlooked or forgotten."

            On January 2, the newly seated council attempted to trigger a similar process. However, a motion by Eric Grubb to table the proposal for three months, amid numerous audience concerns, passed. Grubb, who has since resigned, proposed that the borough fund an impartial survey for all borough residents to gauge opinions about the potential costs of maintaining the municipal police force or contracting out service from the neighboring municipality.

            He said the actions of dissolving the borough department and allowing the Upper Perk Police to provide primary police coverage to the borough is respecting the wishes of the voters.

            "It's what the voters put us in office to do," said Gerhart, who swept into office with five new council members on a platform of restoring the department in the borough. "We're going to respect their wishes."

            East Greenville council has scheduled an additional special public meeting at 7:30 p.m. Thursday to reopen the budget and announce the vacancy created by Grubb's resignation.





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