Curwensville Borough Council Mulls Police Protection

(GantDaily Graphic)

CURWENSVILLE – The topic of police protection was a topic of discussion at Monday night’s Curwensville Borough Council meeting.

Chief Dave Johnston, for a second month, made a pitch to council to consider bringing on another part-time police officer. Currently, Johnston and part-time officer Butch Auber are the only officers working for the borough. The borough also recieves coverage by the Pennsylvania State Police.

Johnston noted that this year the state police have been called into the borough 66 times. He estimated that call volume could rise to well over 300 times by the time 2011 comes to a close. He stated that a part-time officer would be brought on to cover 16 hours per week.

Council member Mark Curulla recommended that instead of spending money on an additional vest, gun and uniform, they increase Auber’s hours. Mayor Holly Komonczi said she had a discussion with Johnston and Auber, and that Auber was in favor of bringing on another part-timer.

Council member Sam Ettaro also expressed interest in another part-timer, noting that a third person’s personality could be helpful. Curulla said that if council considers bringing on another part-timer, they should conduct background checks and make sure the candidate hasn’t previously been fired.

The borough’s budget will be reviewed before any action is taken on the issue.

Komonczi also talked about police visibility. She said she would like officers to be more available, and they’re considering have them park and walk around town a bit.

“We’ve had a lot of burglaries,” said Komonczi. “I’m concerned about that.”

Council also discussed the possibility of regionalization. They discussed a letter the borough received from Lawrence Township’s solicitor inviting dialogue concerning the subject. The Supervisors have solicited Curwensville and Clearfield Boroughs on the topic. Council members expressed an interest in speaking with representatives from the other two municipalities on the topic.

“It’s worth hearing them out,” said council President Fred Sopic.

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