Harrisburg – Sen. Kim Ward (R-39) today introduced legislation to give municipalities the option to have police protection and services by the Pennsylvania State Police.
Ward’s bill allows municipalities without police departments to contract with the State Police for a permanent state trooper presence in their communities.
Senate Bill 984 establishes a State Trooper Services Contractual Program under the supervision of the State Police to provide troopers above the current complement of officers to perform patrol duties within the contracting municipality.
“Municipal governments need options, not dictates from Harrisburg,” said Ward, who contrasted her proposal with several bills introduced in the House of Representatives that would mandate municipalities into a one-size-fits-all solution.
“My bill will give local governments an additional option to address the issue of police protection,” the senator said. “As a result of the additional troopers, there will be more officers on the street to assist all municipalities.” Currently, municipalities with police departments rely on state police resources as back up for public safety emergencies and serious crimes.
Highlights of Senator Ward’s legislation:
- Applies to municipalities that do not have an organized police department.
- Requires the contract cost as labor and benefit costs of troopers assigned.
- Troopers assigned will be above the complement cap.
- Monies will go to a restricted fund to hire and train state troopers.
- Troopers assigned will remain under State Police command structure, but will not be removed from the contracted area unless extreme emergency requires the redeployment.
Hempfield Township Supervisor Doug Weimer stated, “Hempfield Township established a public safety task force as a proactive measure to recent state legislative efforts to impose fees for current State Police protection. As the task force prepares its report on the status of public safety in the Township and its recommendations for the future, it would be beneficial to have legislation that would allow Hempfield the option to contract with the State Police.”
Tom Aikens, Communications Director