At the September 1st Supervisors meeting, it was announced that Franklin Township would contract with the Silver Lake Police Department.  Since two members of the Silver Lake Police Department were in attendance, it was clear that the decision to contract had been made sometime earlier.

The majority of the residents in attendance expressed disapproval for the way in which this contract was entered into – with little or no public discussion or debate.   During the heated exchange, Supervisor Robert Darrow chastised the residents stating “The people don’t run our business”.

The contracted services are for a minimum of 40 hours of police coverage per week.  The cost of this service is $5,000 per quarter, or $20,000 for the year.   Franklin Township will receive 100% of the fines (minus expenses) generated within the township boundaries.

The contract is for a period of one year, with the option to terminate the contract after the first quarter.   Notice must be given a minimum of 45 days prior to the end of the first quarter if the township wishes to terminate the contract.

The majority of the residents that were opposed to contracting with the Silver Lake Police Department were (and are) concerned  about the impact this will have on their taxes.

However, HB-1500 may make those concerns a moot point.  HB-1500 proposes ultimately taxing each resident $150/year for State Police services if the township does not have its own police services, or $52/year if they do.  While HB-1500 is unlikely to pass, it was a factor that the supervisors had to take into account in making their decision.

Police coverage in Franklin Township begins today, September 2nd.  While the contract remains in effect, Chief Tim Burgh (or another member of the police department) will attend all future township meetings to present statistics and field questions and concerns.

The month of September should see the fate of HB-1500, and provide some good statistics on the effectiveness of the new police coverage within Franklin Township.  Please make it a point to attend the October Supervisors  meeting  (Tuesday, October 6th) to express your opinion on the contracted police services.  The decision to continue the contract must be made at that meeting, or shortly thereafter.