SCHUYLKILL COUNTY -- Governor Tom Wolf's 2019 budget proposal earlier this week included payment for state police patrols in municipalities across the state.
Municipalities that don't have local police departments have to rely on state police for coverage. Under Governor Wolf's 2019 budget proposal, an annual fee would be introduced that would require residents to pay for state police to patrol those areas.
It's not uncommon for small boroughs and townships to not have their own police forces and to rely on state police to patrol those areas. A fee for those services may be coming.
"I don't think I'd like that. I already pay enough taxes. That's about it," Robert Dinofa of Zion Grove.
Municipalities with fewer than 2,000 people would have to pay $8 per person. Municipalities with more than 20,000 residents would have to pay $166.
"I guess it can't hurt to make it safer. I have nothing against the police. I like the police. Plus, I'm a law-abiding citizen. I try to follow all the laws, so I don't wind up in jail," said Lorianne Rahmer of Mount Carbon.
An existing issue people have in some of small boroughs and townships is the response time. Dennis Hewes of Mount Carbon said he was burglarized three different times in 2018 alone. It took about an hour for state police to arrive on the scene.
"I had furniture getting it into the door of where I was moving to and when I came back out, my furniture was gone. My snowblower was taken during the winter and after that, my two four-wheelers were being stolen, but my neighbor stopped them, and it took a while for the state police to get there," Hewes said.
The governor's proposed budget is just a starting point for negotiations. The final budget takes effect on July 1.