Allentown mayor, police chief in search of to beef up police division

ALLENTOWN, Pa. – Extra ft on the beat.

Allentown’s police chief and mayor wish to beef up the police division.

One-time Allentown Police Captain and now Metropolis Councilman Daryl Hendricks says the variety of present cops, 213, is similar as within the yr 2000.

“I feel it is a low quantity, the town has grown considerably since then,” Hendricks mentioned.

He needs the town so as to add 10 new spots.

“I feel it is one thing we are able to afford; I feel it is one thing the taxpayers are prepared to pay for,” he mentioned.

Because of the American Rescue Plan, the Queen Metropolis was given a $57-million federal enhance, to make up misplaced income throughout COVID.

“If we had $20 million to spend on officers in the present day, we would nonetheless should get them by means of the screening course of,” mentioned Mayor Matt Tuerk.

Tuerk says there is not $20 million to spend on new officers, and a long-term plan nonetheless must be put in place to pay for these 10 further spots, as soon as these federal {dollars} are gone.

However even with out the federal funds, the present finances already has room to get to 228 officers. The rub? That top bar screening course of that Tuerk says disqualifies 90% of candidates.

‘We’re an extremely selective division, which suggests we get extremely good officers,” he mentioned.

Hendricks says it is a personnel challenge, not a funding one.

Nearly all of council does help including 10 new officers. This contains Josh Siegel, who has pushed to chop again on the police finances previously and reallocate funding. He is in favor however says there’s a want for a longer-term plan on sustaining the salaries.

See also  Battle for Hispanic voters involves key Pennsylvania metropolis

Tuerk says with metropolis enhancements made with the American Rescue Plan Funds, the tax base ought to develop, permitting these further salaries to be sustained. Tuerk wish to add these 10 spots to subsequent yr’s finances, however the metropolis wants a gradual stream of certified candidates for the cash to go to.