Multiple Washington County police departments considering regionalization

One corner of Washington County is considering a regionalization of multiple police departments.

A new proposal would combine services for McDonald Boro, Midway Boro, Robinson Township (Washington County) and Mount Pleasant Police Departments.

The Governor’s Center for Local Government Services conducted a large study which will be presented to residents next week and allow them to weigh in.

Currently, McDonald Boro Police covers most of that area, with Mount Pleasant Police having a separate department.

The proposal calls for 13 full-time officers under one chief, and no part-time officers, as well as one full-time clerical person.

It increases patrol coverage to a minimum of two officers at all times, with three to four officers at 60% of most shifts.

The study includes potential advantages and disadvantages.  Advantages include uniformity, consistency of enforcement, officer safety improvements, recruitment and coordination, training, management and reduced costs.

Disadvantages include control, budget flexibility, citizen concerns about losing their hometown department relationships, and a loss of a chief position.

The proposed headquarters would be out of Mount Pleasant’s police building, with a substation at the current McDonald Police building.

Most residents Channel 11 spoke with hadn’t heard about the brand-new proposal, and were interested in hearing more information.

There will be town halls in each municipality next week, asking for input.

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