CURWENSVILLE – The Curwensville Borough Council is looking for options regarding a recently-purchased police vehicle.
At Monday’s meeting, Mayor John Adams reported that the vehicle purchased by the police department in October has an exhaust leak. Adams said the problem could be as simple as a bad gasket, but the problem will need to be addressed.
According to a previously-published GANT News article, the council took a phone vote to purchase the 2008 Dodge Charger from the Morris-Cooper Regional police in the amount of $3,000.
The vote was later affirmed by the council at its Oct. 22 meeting. The phone vote was needed as the vehicle purchase was a time-sensitive item.
The decision was made to purchase the vehicle because the only borough police car was being repaired. An additional vehicle was needed to be kept both as a spare vehicle for similar circumstances and also to allow the police to occasionally overlap shifts.
Council member Donna Carfley said this vehicle had been purchased with the understanding that it was to be a “back-up” vehicle.
Police Chief Mark Kelly again said that the problem could be something simple and inexpensive. He said the check engine light was on in the main police vehicle. Kelly said he believes the light is due to a problem with the throttle body control; however, the main police vehicle is still under warranty.
Council member Tom Carfley suggested that the police department get an estimate on the cost of getting the exhaust fixed, and the council would decide at their next meeting. However, Rhonda Carfley was not satisfied with this.
“We never should have bought that (expletive) car,” Rhonda Carfley said. “You just keep spending money and spending money.”
Carfley then made a motion to put a freeze on all “unnecessary” spending, which was approved. The motion was later rescinded.
Also, at the meeting, Kelly reported that the department responded to 59 calls for October and 70 calls through 911 and the state police responded to calls in Curwensville 19 times.
He said the department saw a 27 percent increase in criminal mischief, a 29 percent increase in assaults, a 24 percent increase in disorderly conduct, a 55 percent increase in harassment, a 100 percent increase in harassment by communication, a 120 percent increase in drug-related incidents, a 43 percent increase in mental health incidents, a 100 percent increase in rapes, a 50 percent increase in suicides, a 48 percent in theft, a 41 percent increase in traffic complaints and a 191 percent increase in warrants.
Kelly stressed that these percentages were based on the comparison between 2017 and the number of calls so far in 2018. He said there was still a lot of problems with vehicle break-ins, which he said is most likely the result of the increase in drugs.
He again encouraged residents to lock their vehicles at night and to remove all valuable items, such as cell phones, wallets, purses, money and especially weapons.