LAWRENCE COUNTY Officials weigh police forces

The study will start after the municipalities pass resolutions permitting it.
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- There is enough interest in Lawrence County to study the creation of regional police forces.
Ten communities responded to a survey by the Lawrence County Council of Governments, but only nine will likely participate in the study to determine whether regional policing is cost effective, said Robert Callen, COG director.
Taylor Township is not contiguous to any other community that showed an interest in the idea, though township officials said they would like to look into regional policing, he said.
The other communities interested in regional policing are contiguous, but in separate sections of the county and have a possibility of forming two separate regional forces, Callen said.
The communities: In the northern part of the county, Mahoning, Pulaski, Union and Wilmington townships and Volant and New Wilmington boroughs responded to the survey, he said.
Ellport borough, Perry and Wayne townships, all in southern Lawrence County, also expressed an interest in regional policing.
The study was launched by the COG after residents in those communities started telling officials they want full-time police coverage.
Many rural communities have part-time or no police forces. Those without their own police forces rely on the Pennsylvania State Police base in Neshannock Township. A state police spokesman said they often encourage communities to look are regional policing because the state police often cannot provide immediate response to police calls throughout the county.
Callen said the feasibility study will start this spring after all communities interested pass formal resolutions permitting it to start. It will be done at no cost to the COG or municipalities by the Pennsylvania Center for Local Government in Harrisburg.
The results will likely be known in October, Callen said.

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