SPRING GROVE, Pa. (WHTM) – Frustrated and fearful, close to 50 people demonstrated outside of the North Codorus Township Building on Tuesday in an effort to save the Southwestern Regional Police Department.
In October, township supervisors signed a letter of intent to leave Southwestern Regional, much to the surprise of many township residents.
“The way to get more answers is to show that more people have questions,” said Emily LeVault, one of the demonstration organizers who want North Codorus to stay with Southwestern Regional.
Some of those questions were answered inside the meeting. West Manchester Police Department offered a 10-year contract at $825,000 a year, while Northern York County Regional Police put in a bid for a 3-year contract at $744,027 a year.
“I’m sure that other police departments are excellent in their area. I have no doubt about that, but we are in a completely different geographic region and we are a large area,” LeVault said.
Supervisor Rodney Shearer revealed that the board doesn’t have a problem with Southwestern Regional Police, but the board that governs it, which is made up of representatives from Spring Grove and the townships of North Codorus, Manheim, and Heidelburg, the four areas Southwestern Regional police serve.
North Codorus pays 48 percent of the total budget, and Shearer said that is part of the problem.
“When you have a $100,000 or $50,000 increase when the other two, or the other three are only paying 18 percent, it’s a lot easier to pass that budget,” Shearer said.
Shearer said the Southwestern Regional Police Department has been uncooperative in negotiations, but the board of supervisors will listen to a new offer later this month.
To LeVault, the supervisors are the ones who have been uncooperative.
“It would make an immense impact on the police department. We’ve already lost officers because they don’t have job security right now,” LeVault said.
Supervisors said they won’t stop exploring their options, but if the price is right and the board behaves, Southwestern police may continue serving North Codorus, after all.
“The door isn’t closed until December 31, 2019,” Shearer said.