There is no doubt extra police coverage is a necessity at popular community events like the Upper Perk Halloween Parade, Community Day and FreedomFest. But that police presence may come at a price in 2013.
Because of a “bare bones budget,” the Upper Perk Police Commission discussed Monday night the distinct possibility it might need to request the sponsoring organizations of local events, or the boroughs of Pennsburg and East Greenville themselves, to pay for the extra police needed for the events.
If the boroughs of East Greenville and Pennsburg have to contribute to the events, the money for police coverage would come out of their respective general funds, officials said, as the commission budget is so tight there wouldn’t be money budgeted there for the expense.
That coverage has been estimated at $3,500 total.
Tim Huff, police commission member from East Greenville, offered to ask his borough to provide half the cost for police for the events, approximately $1,700, if Pennsburg would provide the other half.
“There are not a lot of things like this in the community. It is a little bit of money for a lot of good,” Huff said.
Pennsburg police commission member John Lear mentioned that he thought if an organization wanted extra police coverage, the organization should pay for it. However, Lear promised to bring the matter up at a Pennsburg borough council budget meeting.
In other business, the police commission discussed and approved its budget for 2013 with the exception of two items. As yet, there are no firm figures for health insurance expenses or insurance deductibles.
Police Commission Chairman Ryan Sloyer noted the budget allocation for 2013 would be the same as in 2012. The proposed budget for 2013 is $1,061,516. East Greenville borough’s contribution is $477,682. Pennsburg borough’s contribution is $583,834. The minimum each municipality must contribute to the police is $71,787.
Upper Perk Police Chief Mike Devlin warned the police commission that the projected $35,000 deficit roll over from one budget year to the next only causes the police commission to “dig deeper into a hole.”
The police commission signed a memorandum of understanding with the Upper Perk police officers and the police chief. The police chief and the police officers must contribute 3 percent to their pension plan, as agreed to last month.
There were 38 crimes reported to Upper Perk Police in September. There were 25 crimes in Pennsburg and 13 in East Greenville. There were eight thefts, 15 vandalisms, and seven incidents of harassment.