LAFLIN — Throwing in their votes, Laflin Borough Council agreed to participate in the Regional Police Force Monday night.
The Regional Police Force would join Laflin with Avoca, Dupont, Duryea and Jenkins Township to create a regional force covering 17,624 residents. Yatesville, which contracts police service from Jenkins Township, voted for the regionalization last week.
The idea for the regional police force is outlined in a 42-page Regional Police Study which listed cost savings of $194,500 for Laflin Borough. It outlines plans for a centrally located police headquarters and details on how the current police forces would be involved.
Municipalities pulling resources together to provide services for residents is a growing trend. Just a few years ago the municipalities of the Back Mountain created a regional emergency response team to provide more coverage to residents.
“We are in,” said Paul Benderavich, council president, “as long as the other municipalities participate as the study outlines.”
Municipalities have until March 21 to decide whether they want to move forward with the Regional Police force.
This is the second time Laflin Borough Council considered the idea of creating a regional police force, said Mayor Dorothy Yazurlo. The first time was about two years ago, she said.
The idea lost momentum among the municipalities and never saw reality.
“Who would not want a nice new police station?” she said.
But, Yazurlo said the feedback of residents from each municipality can weigh in, and this may fall the same way it did two years ago.
Residents were not sold on the idea, stating they feel safer with their own police force.
“I like having our own police force,” said borough resident Rosemary Grebeck. “I live two blocks up the street from the police station.”
In other news:
• Council approved pothole repairs to begin. Benderavich said last year the borough spent no more than $4,800 for repairs, and this year is worse.
• Council approved a motion to lock in a year with Liberty Power for a rate of nine cents per kilowatt hour for 12 months.
• A resolution was passed honoring Valley Distribution for its 60 years in business in the borough.
• Bria Moore, a junior at Scranton Prep, was appointed as a junior council representative.
The next meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on April 14 in the council meeting room at the Laflin Borough Building.