Disagreement could mean end of local police service in Duncannon

DUNCANNON, Pa. (WHTM) – A contract dispute could soon mean the end of local police service for Duncannon residents.

The borough since 2012 has had an agreement that allows Penn Township police to serve in the borough. Their latest two-year agreement began in January 2016 and isn’t set to expire until December 2017.

Duncannon officials cite a number of issues, including the length of the agreement, which is longer than their previous one-year contracts, changes with the police department, and the fact the agreement wasn’t done via ordinance as reasons to end the agreement.

The major concern for Duncannon officials is the cost. The borough is dealing with significant financial issues, discovered earlier in the year, which will make paying for using the police department more difficult.

“In property tax, we bring in just under $200,000. $170,000 of that, the vast majority of that, is allocated toward the police department,” Duncannon council president Kraig Nace said. “We have a lot of challenges ahead of us. And I don’t know if police services, especially the fact that we’re not required to provide them by the borough code, perhaps it needs to be reviewed.”

If officials decide to end the agreement, Penn Township police would no longer serve Duncannon and Pennsylvania State Police would take over.

“As it is right now, state police are typically the second call or backup for the local police department,” Nace said. “However, if we don’t have the contract for the local police services and don’t have local police services in place, the state police would pick that up.”

Negotiations are currently ongoing as Duncannon officials attempt to get the cost of using Penn Township police lowered.

Penn Township officials did not respond to an interview request with ABC27 before this report.

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