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Sloyer Envisions East Greenville Police Department Presence by June 1
Written by Bradley Schlegel Staff Writer

        With an eye on its dissolution date from the Upper Perk Police Commission and proposed mediation with Pennsburg stalled, East Greenville took the first step towards creating its own police department last week.

        On Feb. 22, borough council voted to direct Solicitor Stephen Kramer to work on an ordinance that would create the department.

        "Council needs to act now," Mayor Ryan Sloyer said the day before the vote. 

        Michael Perlow, Jr., the newly appointed council member, cast the lone vote against the resolution, which would also ask a Quakertown engineering firm, Cowan Associates, to create bid documents for the conversion of the Colonial Village Clubhouse into a police headquarters.

        During the public meeting, Sloyer asked Kramer to provide a draft ordinance by March 6. Sloyer wants the department in place by June 1, the date East Greenville expects to leave the commission.

        The mayor said he expects the East Greenville Police Department to operate similarly to the Upper Perk Police District.

        "I would look forward to, and expect, a smooth transition," he said on Feb. 21. "There are probably going to be some hiccups along the way, and we will deal with them."

        The borough's newly created police committee consisting of Sloyer, Joe Arahill and Robert McCluskie, the municipality's representatives on the police commission, will also work on the issue.

        "We are going to move forward aggressively to get what we can in place by June 1," said Sloyer, adding that some special meetings might be required. "We are on a tight time frame." 

        Sloyer expects the borough to hire a new police chief by that date. He said he doesn't see any hurdles to prevent the municipality from filling a four-person department by the end of August. The staff would include the chief, one full-time officer and two part-time officers.

        "We can get everything in place as soon as the ordinance is in place," the mayor said.

        Sloyer said that the municipality's new chief will have a visible presense in the community.

        "If the new chief is hired June 1, I would expect him on the road the same day," he said during an hour-long discussion on Feb. 21.

        According to the mayor, the community-oriented chief – who would not sit behind a desk – would be responsible for hiring the other officers, setting the department's procedures and building relationships with neighboring law enforcement agencies, as well as the state police.

        "The new chief would be responsible for making sure we are properly covered," Sloyer said.

        On Feb. 10, municipal officials admitted that the borough residents would have to rely on state police coverage for an undisclosed period should council proceed with its decision to withdraw from the Upper Perk Police Commission.

        "We will augment the state police with what we need," Sloyer said.

        Reached by email Sunday night, Sloyer declined to answer questions related to the estimated percentage of calls that will be covered by the state police in East Greenville once the new chief is hired; after the full-time officer is deployed; or after the additional two part-time officers are ready for regular duties.

        According to Sloyer, nobody knows how long it would take any police department to respond to an emergency call in the borough. He said it's based on timing and the officers' proximity to an emergency.

        "The state police are around," he said prior to the public meeting. "More than what people notice."

        The mayor stated that troopers are constantly positioned in Red Hill Borough and Upper Hanover Township, as well as Marlborough Township when its officers are not available.

        He added that the troopers, along with officers from New Hanover, Quakertown and Marlborough, have recently supported members of the Upper Perk Police.






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