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Irwin police to cover North Irwin

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By Amanda Dolasinski
Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013, 12:42 p.m.

Despite objections, police protection in North Irwin will revert to Irwin police next year.

North Irwin Borough on Monday approved an agreement to receive police protection from its neighboring borough for an increased cost over last year's rate. Outgoing council president Kim Macalus and Councilmember Gina Sonnik cast the dissenting votes.

“I haven't been satisified with the coverage,” said Kim Macalus, outgoing council president. “We haven't met the chief yet and it's very disappointing.”

Irwin Council hired Roger E. Pivirotto, a former state police lieutenant, as the new police chief in October.

Officials for both boroughs had been haggling over a price for police protection through early December. North Irwin council had set out to shop for protection over the summer, but settled on Irwin when no other feasible offers surfaced.

“I don't think we exhausted all of our options,” Sonnik said.

As part of the agreement, the contract will last for one year and cost $1,650 per month.

The rate is $150 more than the current rate of $1,500 per month. North Irwin council members had hoped to negotiate an increase of $75 instead.

The department is supposed to drive through the borough for 30 minutes per shift and to answer calls when necessary.

“I think it's a fine contract as long as they hold up their end of the deal,” Councilmember Michael Schade said.

Council members discussed shopping around for police protection in August when they voted to send letters to neighboring municipalities inquiring about service.

Letters were sent to police departments in Irwin, North Huntingdon, Manor, Penn Township, Trafford and Southwest Regional Police Department.

Irwin and Southwest Regional were the only departments that responded. Schade said the borough never pursued an agreement with Southwest Regional Police Department.

Amanda Dolasinski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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