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Rosslyn Farms 'totally satisfied' with Scott's police patrols

| Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, 8:21 a.m.

Anne Lackner has lived on Kings Highway in Rosslyn Farms for 33 years, and in that time she grew familiar with the police department.

That same relationship hasn't yet developed with the Scott Township Police Department, which now patrols the borough.

“I know we're actually covered better than before,” Lackner said. “I think it makes sense to have joined forces with another borough, and I guess the only difference is you don't have the same relationship. But ... if you compare 33 years with (six) months, (that explains it).”

Friday marks six months since the Scott Township Police Department began patrolling Rosslyn Farms after the borough disbanded its own police department when Chief Lawrence Fischio retired.

By all accounts of Rosslyn Farms and Scott Township officials, the move is working out well.

“I'm totally satisfied,” Rosslyn Farms Mayor Jim Stover said. “I think it was the right decision to do away with our department, and I think it was the right decision to go with Scott.”

By switching to Scott, Rosslyn Farms increased its police manpower and patrolling hours while reducing costs at the same time. The $50,000 cost by contracting Scott saved Rosslyn Farms about $150,000 this year, Stover said.

When the borough had its own department, it employed two full-time and four part-time officers. Stover said the officers were always on call but weren't on duty sometimes late at night and on the weekends.

“It was about roughly half the time somebody actually was patrolling in the borough,” Stover said. “The rest of the time, somebody was on call.”

Scott, meanwhile, provides 24 hours of service each day, broken into 12-hour shifts.

Scott Police Chief Jim Secreet said his department assigns at least one officer per shift to a zone that includes East Carnegie, Glendale and Rosslyn Farms. That officer is responsible for responding to calls in that zone.

However, other officers on duty at the time also can patrol the borough.

“There could be anybody there or two (officers) there at any given time,” Secreet said.

Secreet said the department is averaging 10 to 15 calls a month in Rosslyn Farms, about what he expected. Most of the calls have been for minor situations, with a theft or two.

“We love serving their community,” Secreet said. “It's a nice area. There aren't a lot of problems up there, and it's easy to police.”

While Stover said the community is usually quiet, he is glad to have Scott's manpower in case of emergencies. He recounted a situation after Scott's takeover when two residents reported a possible burglary in the area.

“One of the Scott Township officers was coming around the bend, and they flagged him down,” Stover said. “He got on the radio, and within about two minutes they said there were two more cars there. Their presence in an emergency is a lot greater than what we could have provided ourselves.”

Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-8527 or dgulasy@tribweb.com.

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