Municipality Debates Police Coverage Question
A municipality in Centre County that once had its own police coverage but disbanded it due to costs now has to decide what to do regarding the proposed $25 per person fee for municipalities relying on the state police for coverage.
Based on 2015 data, Philipsburg Borough relies on the state police for full-time service and the state police responded to 942 calls in the Borough that year. At a council discussion this week a members discussed the possible relocation of a state police barracks and the proposed $25 fee. With a population of 2,707 the estimated tab for the Borough would be $67,675. One member of council asked “who will pick up the tab?” Who else but the citizenry of the municipality unless they elect to start up their own municipal force or join together with other communities to form a multi-municipal police force? Who would the council member suggest pay? The communities already doing one of the latter options? The five communities in the County that have police forces and pay anywhere from $100 to $232 per capita?
As we pointed out nearly a decade ago, when the idea of charging for state police coverage had a population threshold, “… the money to pay for [state police] service must come from somewhere. Right now that somewhere is the Commonwealth’s taxpayers. The basic question is: Why should taxpayers who pay for their own police also pay for law enforcement in other communities? “