I am a former Clearfield resident attending college at Gannon University. I check in on what’s going on in Clearfield by visiting the websites of the local media: Gant Daily, The Progress, and The Courier-Express.
I can honestly say I was shocked when I saw that Mayor Patty Gilliland is threatening a lawsuit against the Borough Council because she feels she should have “unlimited and unrestricted access” to the police department. I find myself asking why in the world ANYONE should have unlimited and unrestricted access to ANY police department with the exception of the police officers? Even here on campus, no one can just go waltzing into the security office as they please, including the dean. Why does she want such access to the police department in the first place? Is something going on the in the department the community should know about? Or is this an excuse to forward some political agenda?
I understand from what I’ve read of the Mayor’s Manual that the mayor has some supervisory powers over the police department. However, I do not feel someone who has no experience in law enforcement or as a police officer should be telling trained law enforcement officials how to do their job. Would you want someone with no medical training telling your heart surgeon how to do a triple by-pass, even if there’s documentation saying they have that right? Leave law enforcement in the hands of the police. Supervise as needed but don’t micro-manage.
I applaud Mayor Gilliland for taking such an active role in the community, but dragging an economically depressed area into a lawsuit is financially irresponsible. While the Mayor’s Manual says Gilliland will have to pay for her own lawyers, the tax payers are going to have to foot the bill for the borough council’s lawyers. Can’t the mayor, the council, and the police chief sit down like adults and work something out? Why is litigation the only option?