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Police Services Contract Program

Contracting or Purchasing Police Services

In addition to being costly, providing police services is a critical function of local government and extremely important to the citizens of the community. Attempts to cut back on personnel or change policing policy on the part of elected officials often times results in a very emotional outcry from taxpayers and residents. The elected official suddenly becomes the culprit or the hero depending upon the individual point of view.

None the less, citizens of a community have a basic right to expect that it will be safe to walk on the streets of their community, that they will be secure in their homes and property, and when they have a problem requiring police response, that the problem will be resolved quickly and efficiently by a qualified police officer. The role of elected officials is to satisfy that expectation by utilizing the resources and public funds at their disposal in the most cost effective manner possible.

Municipal policing has become very complex over the past two decades, compared to what it was prior to that time. The individual rights of citizens, the liability that the municipality, elected and police officials must now accept for the performance or non-performance of police officers, and the limitations placed upon the action of police officers by the courts mandate extreme care in the exercise of police authority.

These developments place additional burdens on those responsible for supervising and overseeing the police function and conduct of Officers.

Professional police chiefs are probably more aware of these limitations than anyone because it is their life’s work, their chosen career that is on the line.

The most common of the alternative for providing police service available to municipalities is purchasing police services from a nearby municipality.

Purchasing services often proves to be less costly when compared to the cost associated operating your current municipal police department or establishing a new regional police department.

The level of service and policing efficiency is often greater, depending upon the agreement developed, because of the availability of the resources of a larger police department.

Many elected officials in Pennsylvania have found this method for providing municipal police service to be very beneficial for their communities.

History of Contracts in Pennsylvania

Within the Commonwealth, there are over 200 municipalities contracting police services that span one or more counties.

Nearby Departments that currently contract: State College Borough, Knox Borough, New Bethlehem Borough, Decatur Township, and Johnstown City.

Sandy Township Police Department Contract Program

Communities have unique law enforcement needs, but they also have tight budgets. The Sandy Township Police Departments contracts program provides a way for municipalities to have local control and identity for their police, and to save money.

The ultimate goal of a police administrator is to provide the highest level of service for the lowest possible cost. Contractual agreements enhance the ability to achieve this goal by minimizing duplication of effort and maximizing efficiency by obtaining a quality level of service at a reasonable cost.

The Sandy Township Police Department provides personalized community service. Community involvement and problem solving are two integral factors of how police services are administered, and contractual relationships support and foster this philosophy.

Police Personnel are encouraged to meet the needs of the community. Therefore, the emphasis is on community problem solving and not departmental dictate.

The efficiency of an organization such as the Police Department comes from the depth and cost effectiveness that it produces and not by implementing a bureaucratic approach to community problems.

Contract Benefits

One of the most common questions asked by municipal officials when considering the contract law enforcement option is, “What are the benefits?” The answer, in short, is efficient professional law enforcement services with significant savings while retaining local control.

In addition, a contract with the Sandy Township Police Department offers many intangible benefits. These benefits are of significant importance as cost avoidance to management because the municipalities’ resources will no longer be required to perform these functions and Municipal officials are relieved of the burden of managing day-to-day policing operations such as:
  • Recruiting, selecting and training qualified part-time and full-time officers
  • Equipment evaluation, maintenance and procurement
  • Union negotiations and Contractual Agreements
  • Payroll, Hospitalization, and Pension Benefits
  • Discipline from Conduct and Grievance mediation
  • Risk management (worker’s compensation and civil liability)
Municipalities realize substantial cost savings as they are not directly responsible for wages and benefits of police officers. The continual turnaround of part-time officers who leave for other departments, and increased costs of health care and retirement benefits are no longer a local government concern or burden.

In addition to the above, Insurance and liability costs, maintenance and operation of a police facility, purchasing of updated equipment and technology, and the reoccurring purchase of police vehicles along with maintenance and fuel consumption costs associated with those vehicles.

Municipalities can provide their smaller municipality with a higher level of police service from a larger municipality and its police department that they could otherwise not afford or provide. For example: A municipality can contract at minimal cost the same level of services that cost the citizens of the Sandy Township well over $900,000 a year.

In most cases, police services will be increased and provided at no additional cost or possibly less then what a municipality may have already budgeted for their own Police Department.

Municipalities that contract with the Sandy Township Police Department for police services have a large pool of professional staff of officers and with varied backgrounds, experience, and specialized training.

Many officers were previously employed by neighboring municipalities as police officers or may even live in a potential contract municipality making some very familiar with contracted communities.

All Command Staff have Supervisory Training from the Penn State University Justice and Safety Institute in Leadership, Discipline, Ethics, and Civil Liability.

In addition, the Chief of Police attends annual training from the Public Employer Labor Relations Advisory Service (PELRAS) which aids with the compliance of state and federal laws and regulations regarding employees and the work place.

All Field Training Officers (FTO) receive training from Penn State University Justice and Safety Institute. All newly hired police officers are considered probationary officers and are placed in the Field Training and Evaluation Program which consists of 3 phases and of XXX hours.

Specialized services include:
  • Drug Task Force
  • Traffic Accident Reconstruction
  • Criminal Investigations
  • Crime Scene Processing
  • Regional Booking Center with Live Scan, CPIN, and Video Arraignment
  • Emergency Containment Team
  • Firearms Instructors
  • Less Lethal Weapon Instructors
  • Certified Child Passenger Safety Seat Technician
  • CPR and First Aid Instructor

Specialized Equipment and Resources:

The ability to instantaneously tap into the vast resources of a larger law enforcement agency in the area, while maintaining a small town atmosphere, is without question a great advantage to contracting services.

The contract municipality would receive immediate access through police services to tens of thousands of dollars worth of technology acquired through grants and other funding.

Municipalities interested in being provided additional information such as a power point presentation and cost proposal may complete the Police Services Questionnaire PDF and mail or fax it to the Police Department.