Paying for State Police Coverage – Looking at the Numbers

LAFLIN -- We are learning more about the governor's proposal to charge communities that rely on state police coverage $25 a person.

In our viewing area, that impacts 315 municipalities, but the governor's office said, it's a "reasonable deal."

In Luzerne County, more than two dozen communities rely solely on state police for protection.

Laflin is one of them. It dropped its police force in 2014 and many people there say they cannot afford to pay for state police protection either.

Laflin borough council shut down the police department a few years ago to save money and then sold off the equipment. Now, Laflin relies on state police full time, which, currently, does not have an additional cost. But some people complain that response times can be slow.

"Some calls are a half hour before they answer, 45 minutes," said Mayor Dorothy Yazurlo.

Governor Wolf's plan would have communities that rely on state police pay $25 per person. Laflin's mayor says finding that money would be difficult.

Wolf's plan would cost Laflin just more than $37,000 a year. That's almost 10 times less than what it cost the borough to have its own police department in 2014.

Still, Laflin borough officials admit, if Governor Wolf's proposal goes into effect, they'd have to raise taxes to pay for it, and many people here are not happy about it.

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"The state police are stretched thin. They are very short on people," the mayor added.

Nearly 70 percent of communities in the state use state police for some protection. The places with full-time state police coverage that would have to pay under Wolf's plan.

In Luzerne County, the Wyoming state police barracks covers several areas full-time, like Bear Creek Township. It's the largest area in Luzerne County with a full-time state police presence, covering roughly 70 square miles. People there say they'd rather have their own police.

"If it's going to get raised, either state police or local, then we should have a local police," said township resident River Missal.

Governor Wolf says the fee would generate about $63 million a year and that would go toward cadet classes for 100 new troopers.

But it's just a proposal, and many communities in Luzerne County hope to work with local lawmakers to try to shoot it down during budget talks.

9 comments

  • RicU.

    Why would anyone want state police as their local police? They are above the law. They break and enter with out a warrant and retaliate if you complain. Therefore, the PSP out of Blooming Grove has 5-6 police covering a 65 square mile area. The response time is dangerous.

    Interestingly, this will bring a revolt from the “communities.” By “community,” I don’t refer to townships, for an examples, but the gate “communities” which provide no services but tax the [bleep] out of those trapped inside. The townships, counties and borough pork up on these also. For instance, Pike County has only 2 miles of roads it must maintain. Real estate value is being decimated and will continued to be so until services are required for money spent.

    You guessed right. It was designed this way so those elected can continue to gouge those paying the taxes.

  • laura

    63 million for 100 cadets – that’s 630,000 per cadet. governor it does not cost that much to train a police officer

  • Jenny Duffy

    He’s the Wolf, and we’re the sheep. He’s there to feed off of us. But wait… He is loving liberal, has a nice beard, and he drives a Jeep. I thought he cared for me. Nope! Just as bad as the old one. New boss, same as the old boss. Just another way to tax us.

  • Hikingbear

    This is a tax clear and simple, Mr. Wolfe. If I pay the $25 will that change service? I doubt it…a few more Troopers on patrol 24/7 over the state and who says it will cover the state equally. Maybe the powers that be interview candidates better so we don’t see whole classes cheating on their test before even becoming a Trooper.

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