Police supporters meeting in Ford City
Opponents of a borough committee recommendation to close the Ford City Police Department are sponsoring a public meeting on Tuesday to bolster support for keeping the force intact.
The meeting is at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Latin American Club at 1218 Third Avenue.
“The business owners are really concerned for the safety of their business and the welfare of the elderly and children,” meeting organizer Cody Atherton said.
Atherton, 19, is the son of Ford City's top police officer, Sgt. John Atherton. He and others involved in putting the town hall-style meeting together said they want to focus on saving the police department and preserving the borough's quality of life for residents.
The meeting will include presentations from police in neighboring communities, the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 39 and other law enforcement officials. They will discuss the potential impact of doing away with the police department.
“The public should be informed about what the costs are to maintain a police department, the importance of protection from the criminal element, the effects on an elderly community and response time,” said Councilman Gene Banks, who opposes closing the department.
The council's three person police committee recommended last month that the borough disband its force in favor of coverage from state police at Kittanning. Committee members said the borough can no longer afford its own force.
“A lot people are concerned about the state police coming in,” Cody Atherton said. “They patrol all the way from Etna to New Bethlehem. If there's a call, they will prioritize it. But there's no guaranteed response time.”
Steve Cippel, operations manager of Klingensmith's Drug Stores, is one of the people concerned about life without a police force in Ford City. He said in recent months, his company's Ford City business has dealt with drug use in its parking lots, shoplifting and vehicle break-ins.
“We're 100 percent behind the police,” he said. “I don't even want to think about what would happen if they weren't here.”
Council Vice President Jerry Miklos, a member of the police committee, said he would try to attend the meeting. Since his committee made the recommendation to disband the force, he said he has talked to some residents who agree with the recommendation and others who have concerns.
“I think the important thing is we get the facts out and then people can make an intelligent decision,” he said.
Julie E. Martin is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303, ext. 1315, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- Burglary suspect arrested in Kittanning
- CEO leaving Kittanning’s Progressive Workshop after 36-year run
- Ford City family’s war collection being featured at Pittsburgh museum
- Life skills students enjoy prom festivities in Manor
- Feds to Ford City: 60 days to repay $581,000 grant default
- High school vandalism captured on video in Ford City
- Armstrong candidates tackle issues during forum
- Spices make the difference for thriving Armstrong County chip company
- Ford City High School class of 1951 offering scholarship
- Avonmore man jailed on charges of stealing 3 cars Sunday
- Batteries ordered for Armstrong 911 backup system