The Upper Perk Police Commission reversed its decision to permanently lay off three Upper Perk police officers. Monday night the commission voted unanimously to retain its entire force of nine full-time officers and one part-time officer.
Upper Perk Police Det. Matthew Boaman, who serves as chairman of the bargaining unit for the police officers association, said Wednesday the department has gotten a warm reception from the community in lieu of recent events.
“We’ve gotten very positive feedback from the community, from business owners and the general public,” he said of the three officers returning to work.
Those officers were reinstated to their positions as of the meeting and started work immediately after the decision was rendered.
The commission approved a revised budget for 2013 of $1,132,336, an increase of $70,819 over the 2012 budget of $1,061,517. Pennsburg will contribute $662,784 and East Greenville will give $509,551 toward the budget.
Under current agreements, Pennsburg pays 55 percent of costs and East Greenville pays 45; Pennsburg has a slightly higher population and number of police calls.
Previously, Pennsburg borough council was concerned if the three police officers were retained, it would be necessary to substantially increase taxes in Pennsburg. Borough officials were reluctant to increase taxes in these financially difficult times. However, when faced with a public outcry in favor of retaining all its police officers, council revamped its budget so it could provide the $71,000 necessary to keep the police.
Pennsburg will increase taxes by .25 mils. The overall tax rate would be 5.475 mils. A property assessed at $125,000 would pay approximately $30 more in real estate taxes after the tax increase. The tax increase would provide $37,750 in revenues for the police budget. Additionally, the borough will reduce their roads budget and lower its expenditures for repairs and renovations. They also reduced the borough savings to $7,500, reserving that amount for a new borough hall roof.
East Greenville is scheduled to approve their amended borough budget and police contribution Monday night.
In other police commission business, there were 37 crimes reported to Upper Perk Police in November. There were six thefts, 10 assaults, three sex offenses, three DUIs, one robbery, and six narcotic violations. There were 23 crimes in Pennsburg and 14 in East Greenville.
The next Upper Perk Police Commission meeting is scheduled for Jan. 23 at 6:45 p.m. in Pennsburg. The commission’s Dec. 17 meeting was cancelled.