Smithton police begin patrolling Sutersville
Madison, Smithton and Sutersville almost form a triangle, each nine and a half miles a part, said Smithton police Sgt. Greg Birkland.
The department began a contract with Sutersville Borough in January for 10 hours per week of regular patrol and has been in a similar contract with Madison Borough.
“There's a large amount of ways to get there fast if they need us to respond quickly,” he said.
After Gary Indof resigned as Sutersville police chief, the department in the borough of about 700 people was disbanded, said Mayor Alaina Breakiron.
Officials donated the late '90s model police car to the Sutersville Volunteer Fire Department and considered contracting coverage from Southwest Regional Police or Smithton.
Breakiron said they decided on Smithton partly because of the cost and because of the distance.
“(Southwest Regional) bid a lot higher than Smithton,” she said, adding that there were worries that some of the area was too far to reach Sutersville promptly in case of an emergency.
In addition to the 10 hours per week, Smithton officers are “on call” for the additional 40 hours when patrolling the two other boroughs, Birkland said.
“For their 10 hours, they get 50 hours worth of coverage,” he said.
The department, which has no full-time officers and eight part-time officers, will enforce traffic laws, respond to emergencies and investigate drug activity.
Breakiron said the patrolling officers are meant to “make their presence known in the community,” to deter vandalism and other deviant behavior.
Smithton police will not have a set schedule in order to retain the “element of surprise,” she said.
In addition to the communities it serves, the police department benefits from the extra income and extra hours for its officers, Birkland said.
“We'd definitely like to get a few more (communities under contract) if we could,” he said.
Madison Borough, which has maintained a contract with Smithton for three years, has been happy with the coverage, borough Secretary Pat Walt said.
“It's a minimum amount, but it provides a sense of security,” she said.
Birkland said no matter where they are patrolling, Smithton officers are well-trained and try to attend to each community's individual needs.
Smithton Mayor Christine Tutena said residents there appreciate the cooperation between the boroughs.
“I just know that it's good when these small towns can work together and it's not exorbitant for anybody,” she said.
Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at email@example.com or 724-836-6660.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- From fighting fires to fighting cancer, Rostraver woman displays strength
- Sewickley Township streets will get needed improvements
- Detective to examine Sewickley Township fuel expenditures
- Sewickley Township, neighboring fire stations to receive grant money
- Yukon hazardous waste treatment site looks to expand