September 2018 Minutes

SOUTHWESTERN REGIONAL POLICE BOARD

September 12, 2018 – 7:00 PM

 

Meeting called to order by Chairman M. Bollinger at 7:00 pm.  The following were in attendance:

  1. Shearer, R. Lint – N. Codorus Twp.
  2. Bollinger, T. Frock – Heidelberg Twp.
  3. Stambaugh – Manheim Twp.
  4. Hilt, R. Whyland – Spring Grove Borough
  5. Bean – Chief
  6. Nickell – Police Administrator
  7. Tilley – Solicitor

 

PUBLIC COMMENTNo public was in attendance.

 

MINUTES:  Review of the minutes of August 8, 2018.  R. Shearer stated that the two police departments he referred to that allowed their officers to return to work before the DA had completed their investigation were York City and Northern Regional, not PSP.  Motion by R. Whyland, second by B. Hilt to approve the minutes as amended.  Motion carried unanimously.

 

TREASURER’S REPORT:  (Attachment A) Treasurer’s Report was presented.  V. Nickell distributed a corrected page 3 of the Treasurer Report; she had omitted a deposit of $34,222.89 into the Health Insurance Reimbursement Account.  The deposit was the remaining refund for 2017.     B. Hilt asked the following questions:

  • Was the check to York Area Regional for the group of police departments that test and hire police officers; Chief replied yes.
  • Did we use any equipment from the previous officer to equip our new one, i.e. handcuffs. Chief replied we reused anything we could, i.e. handgun, but we couldn’t reuse the handcuffs because the previous officer had provided his own and the new officer didn’t have any.
  • What was the taser training? Chief replied it was the updated training required for the new tasers for all the officers.

Motion by R. Whyland, second by B. Hilt to approve the Treasurer’s Report as presented.  Motion carried unanimously.

 

Old Business was discussed next due to the fact that Chairman Bollinger had to leave the meeting early, and wanted to be present during the discussion of the 2019 Budget.

 

OLD BUSINESS

 

2019 Budget – M. Bollinger reported that V. Nickell had made a budget presentation at each of the municipal meetings last month, as the Police Board had directed.  The Budget Committee met again, and a few changes were made resulting in the budget proposal distributed to the Board tonight.  In accordance with The Articles of Agreement, the Police Board is to have a budget prepared to present to the municipalities by October 1st.  The municipalities have the final approval of the budget, so whatever is decided tonight does not mean it will be the final budget. The Budget Committee cut one of the vehicles out, and some numbers were updated to reflect quotes on office equipment and worker’s comp insurance received since the last budget proposal.  Health insurance renewal has not been received yet.  The percentage of the increase to the municipalities is 5.09%.  R. Shearer stated that is not correct, his copy says 5.75%.  V. Nickell replied that she had used her laptop during the Budget Committee meeting, and had verbally given the new % to the committee without printing a final copy out.  M. Bollinger and B. Hilt verified this, stating they had written 5.09% on their copies of the budget.

 

Information on previous budgets was distributed; showing the increase in 2015 was 0%, 2016 was 0.11% and 2017 was 3.05%.

 

A lengthy discussion followed, in which R. Shearer informed the Board of the following:

  • At the last NCT supervisors meeting, they made a motion to go out for bids from other police departments for police services. The request for bids has since gone out.
  • Shearer has some prices, but he hasn’t gone back to the NCT Board with them yet, so he cannot talk about them – but they are “a long way off”. He stated that NCT can get police service for a lot less money.
  • He cannot say what the NCT Board is going to do, but he promised to “stand strong and see that we don’t spend the amount of money more for police services here when we can get them somewhere else. Not State Police, but paying for a police department.”
  • NCT does not intend to spend hundreds of thousands more until we decide what we can do – we’ve got to do something fairly quick.
  • Jackson Township pays $99 per resident for police service from Northern Regional.
  • Jackson Township had 1,000 more calls than NCT had last year, and paid $752,000; NCT paid $992,000.
  • NCT will give the Police Board until the end of November to come up with a way to save money.
  • Chief Bean asked what it will take to keep NCT with our department – R. Shearer responded, “I won’t know until after our board meeting next Tuesday.”
  • Shearer stated that he is willing to re-negotiate the contract if it would save the department.

 

  1. Bollinger suggested forming a Ways and Means Committee whose purpose would be to look into restructuring the police department. This suggestion was supported by R. Whyland, S. Stambaugh and B. Hilt; but a motion was not made to form said committee. M. Bollinger stated that if any municipality does not approve a budget for 2019, it will be clear to him that they intend to leave the department.

 

Chief Bean made the following comments:

  • He takes his responsibility to keep costs down as seriously as his responsibility to solve crime.
  • Per capita we are the least expensive, full-time regional police department in the Commonwealth.
  • The only way Northern can be providing service to Jackson Township for less is because they are receiving less time.

 

  1. Tilley made the following statements:
  • He sent an e-mail to the Board in July with the results of his research done in March regarding what it would cost to withdraw from the police department. In accordance with the Articles of Agreement, his research revealed:
    • A withdrawing municipality must give at least twelve (12) months’ notice.
    • The withdrawing municipality will be obligated to pay a penalty which he estimated to be over $1,000,000.
    • This calculation did not take into account any credits due for undepreciated assets, i.e., the building.

Discussion followed regarding ways for the department to save money.  The following items were discussed:

  • Reducing staff
  • Reducing wages
  • Reducing insurance benefits
  • Reopening the CBA
  • Selling time to other municipalities
  • Merging with other regional police departments

A meeting between the Chief and Board members was scheduled for Saturday in order for him to fully explain the schedule and staffing needs of the department, and to answer any questions they may have.  Two meetings were scheduled with four members of the Board attending at a time, in order to avoid having a quorum.  R. Shearer requested the Chief distribute what he would be discussing a couple days prior to the meeting in order for the Board members to become familiar with the material.

 

Additional discussion transpired regarding whether to move forward with the 2019 budget proposal.  W. Tilley emphasized that there is value in following a formal process; if the Police Board approves this proposal, it then goes to the municipalities for their approval, which must be unanimous; approval of the proposed budget gives the municipalities a mechanism to respond.

 

Motion by M. Bollinger, second by B. Hilt to submit the proposed 2019 budget to the municipalities for their consideration.  R. Shearer asked if voting yay for this means that you are in agreement with the budget that is being submitted.  W. Tilley replied yes, you are agreeing that the needs of the department are reflected in the budget.  If you vote no, then it becomes incumbent upon you to come up with another budget for submission to the municipalities.  Motion passed with four (4) yays; M. Bollinger, B. Hilt; S. Stambaugh, and R. Whyland, and three (3) nays; R. Shearer, R. Lint, and T. Frock.

 

  1. Bollinger left at this point and S. Stambaugh took over as chair of the meeting.

 

2017 Year-End Balance – V. Nickell distributed a spreadsheet drawn up by our accounting firm that showed why there was a difference in the net income and the year-end balance.  The additional funds in the checking account are accounted for as the quarterly payroll taxes being held for payment of the 4th quarter taxes, paid in January.  R. Shearer stated that then the amount of the tax liability should not be included when the year-end balance is transferred into the Reserve and/or Sick & Vacation Liability Funds.  V. Nickell stated that she will take that into account going forward.

 

CHIEF’S REPORT:

 

The crime stats for August were reviewed.  There were 321 calls for service, 126 traffic stops and 26 people were arrested with 52 charges being filed.

 

Chief’s Notes (Attachment B):  The Chief’s Notes were presented as attached, with additional comments as follows:

 

Item 1 – Incident at Santander Bank – and update will be presented in Executive Session.

Item 2 – York College Survey – In an effort to improve services provided to our communities, Chief has asked Professor Kirsten Witherup to conduct a survey of our residents in the Spring of 2019.  The Board will have the opportunity to meet with her and give input as to what questions they want on the survey.  R. Shearer stated that this is not a good time to conduct a survey; he is against it and so is the NCT Board, as he spoke to them when he saw it in the Chief’s Notes.   He thinks the Chief is “loading his guns for the battle we are about to get into”.  Chief responded that as a manager he wants and needs to know what the people he serves have to say.  He then asked R. Shearer if he wants to know what the people think, to which R. Shearer responded he already knows what they think, they want to get the most “bang for their buck”.  Chief replied that could be one of the questions included on the survey.  R. Shearer stated that he just wants everyone to know that NCT is opposed to conducting a survey at this point.  R. Shearer requested a vote be taken to see if the Board approved conducting this survey.  R. Lint, T. Frock, B. Hilt, S. Stambaugh, and R. Whyland voted “yes” to the survey; R. Shearer voted “no”.  Chief assured the Board that they will be involved in what questions would be included on the survey.

Item 3 – 2019 Budget – already discussed.

Item 4 – Firearms Informational Class – On August 14th Officers Nolan and Poplin conducted a class to discuss the laws that center around gun ownership. This was in response to a request from a men’s church group; the class was well received and attended.  Those that attended the meeting were surprised and pleased to discover that the department is supportive of gun ownership.  The Chief did not expect that response, as the department always supports the law, and the law supports gun ownership.  There are plans to offer this class to the residents of each municipality; the Chief will be meeting with each of the municipal managers to discuss.

Item 5 – Employee Evaluations – Annual employee evaluations are currently being conducted.

Item 6 – “Stealth Stat” Information – The “Stealth Stat” is a radar box the officers mount on a telephone pole to record the speed of each vehicle that drives by.  It is utilized when the department receives speeding complaints on specific areas of roadways, enabling us to determine if speeding is truly a problem there.  Chief distributed the results of a study done on Lehman Road which showed the average speed of the 733 vehicles recorded over a 24-hour period was 40 mph.  Eighty-five percent of the vehicles were recorded at 48 mph or less.  The conclusion of this study was that there isn’t a speeding problem on this section of Lehman Road.

Item 7 – Car Repairs Increased – Four of our seven patrol vehicles were in for repairs this past month; this was due to high mileage on the vehicles.

Item 8 – Letter of Appreciation – Chief distributed a letter of appreciation from a resident who was pulled over for going through a red light.  The driver of the vehicle (an African American) was extremely upset over a nasty comment made by a white male to him and his family earlier in the day.  The officer spoke with him for 30 minutes, calming him down.  The driver was very thankful, stating that the conversation with the officer changed his life.

Item 9 – Drug & Alcohol Testing – This is now being conducted, according to policy and as the CBA allows.  An employee is randomly chosen by the testing facility by computer.  The Chief is notified by mail, and the next time the employee arrives for work they are directed to go immediately for a urine test.

 

Press Releases:  9/2- Foot patrol discovered juveniles out after curfew in Spring Grove Borough.  The officers observed a cross bow in the back seat of the vehicle, four days later a resident reported a cross bow had been stolen from their residence while they were on vacation – case solved.

8/23 – A man was arrested twice in less than 24-hours for domestic violence in North Codorus Township.  The first time the woman had barricaded herself in the bedroom and officers discovered her husband trying to break through the door with a large knife.  He made bail the next morning and immediately returned to the house, where he was once again arrested.

8/15 – While on foot patrol officers discovered a juvenile female who was crying.  The male who was with her had a bulge in his pocket.  When asked to come over to the officer he pushed the officer and ran, losing his shoe in the process.  He was caught a couple days later, identification aided by the lost shoe.  Subject was charged with Assaulting an Officer.

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

2019 MMO – V. Nickell presented the 2019 MMO as follows:  Non-Uniform – $6,428;

Uniform – with officers contributing 5% – $86,322.   The average State Pension Aid received over the past 6 years has been $88,711.

 

OTHER ITEMS

 

None

 

The Board adjourned into Executive Session to discuss a personnel issue at 8:54 pm

 

The Board reconvened into public session and adjourned at 9:38 pm.

 

Submitted by:

 

V. Nickell

Police Administrator