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MERCER COUNTY 3 communities will vote on police contract



Published: Wed, November 14, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The commission also agreed to provide security on public transportation buses in Farrell and Wheatland.

By HAROLD GWIN

VINDICATOR SHARON BUREAU

FARRELL, Pa. -- The Southwest Mercer County Regional Police Commission has reached a tentative contract with its unionized officers.

The officers union, Lodge 34 of the Fraternal Order of Police, approved the package Monday and the commission accepted the proposal Tuesday, voting to recommend that the three member municipalities that make up the department ratify the terms.

James DeCapua, commission chairman, said Farrell, Wheatland and West Middlesex all must approve the contract before it goes into effect.

The old contract expires Dec. 31.

DeCapua said terms of the pact won't be released until it is ratified.

Sgt. Albert Rock, a member of the FOP negotiating team, attended the commission's meeting Tuesday to announce the FOP had accepted the contract.

He declined to reveal vote totals but said police are pleased with the agreement.

The pact affects 16 full-time and six part-time officers. Only the chief is not covered by the contract.

Other action: In other business, the commission:

UVoted to approve an agreement with the Shenango Valley Shuttle Service to provide security on Shuttle Service buses in Farrell and Wheatland at a cost of $30,000 for an 18-month period ending Dec. 31, 2002.

The money will cover 1,000 hours of service which could involve placing a police officer on buses or having a police car follow a bus on its route, DeCapua said.

The Shuttle Service has proposed similar security contracts with police in Sharon ($30,000), Hermitage ($30,000) and Sharpsville ($10,000). The service's desire for security contracts was prompted by Sharon high school students' causing problems while riding shuttle buses to school, according to DeCapua.

UAgreed to ask the Mercer County Housing Authority for the $15,000 balance on a $25,000 contract to provide foot patrols in housing authority apartment complexes in Farrell. The service has been provided but the bill hasn't been paid, DeCapua said, noting the contract period ended Oct. 31.

The commission also asked Police Chief Joseph Timko to find out if the authority plans to renew the contract for another year. That's information the commission needs as it works on a 2002 budget, DeCapua said.




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