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Latrobe police force to assist St. Vincent

| Tuesday, July 9, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Latrobe City Council approved a one-year agreement with St. Vincent College to provide police service to the Unity campus.

The agreement with the college would be in effect for emergency services, special events with scheduled advanced notice and weekend night patrols totaling two hours, said solicitor Jim Kelley.

The city will be paid $95 per hour for the police department services.

Police Chief Jim Bumar said he was in favor of the plan after Councilman Ken Baldoneri asked him about the types of patrols Latrobe would be providing.

“I think it opens some doors for a lot of things in the future,” he said. “I think there's other organizations and institutions that are interested, and they're sitting back and waiting.”

City manager Alex Graziani said before the meeting that the contract, which will bring in about $100,000 for the department, which has a budget of about $1.3 million, utilizes the resources of the department in a different capacity, much like a car that needs gas and insurance and upkeep.

“You might not drive it today, but you've got to pay for it to be there,” he said.

St. Vincent College wants to use those resources to help keep members of the campus community safe, said spokesman Don Orlando.

“We'll be very pleased if it's approved,” he said Monday afternoon. “It will be a little bit of time before something is implemented, but it's something we feel is very important.”

Now that the city has approved the agreement, Unity supervisors will have to approve an intergovernmental agreement to allow officers into their jurisdiction, which is under the protection of Pennsylvania State Police at the Greensburg barracks.

The agreement would offer consent to the state police as a professional courtesy, Kelley said.

St. Vincent College is patrolled by a campus police force whose members are not permitted to carry firearms because of campus policies, Bumar said.

He said the agreement will allow Latrobe police to build a rapport with the campus patrols in case of any emergencies.

“The main thing is if they have a major incident, we want to be able to be trained and be prepared,” Bumar said. “We don't want to infringe or replace any of the services they already have. They have a very capable and well-trained staff, and we'd be happy to assist them in any way we could.”

After one year, the agreement is month-to-month, unless council votes otherwise, Graziani said.

Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6660 or sfederoff@tribweb.com.

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