Park police may patrol at WCCC
Westmoreland County Commissioners took a step on Thursday toward possibly having county park police supply security on the Westmoreland County Community College campus.
In a unanimous vote, the commission amended an ordinance to allow park police access to the college grounds near Youngwood.
Now the commissioners and college officials will have to hammer out an agreement for costs and other arrangements.
“All we did was say let's start a discussion about it,” Charles Anderson, commission chairman, said of the vote. “I have a lot of questions. We have to hire people, there are vehicles involved. ... It's just a proposal at this point.”
Commissioner Tyler Courtney said he likes the idea of park police staffing the campus, but costs will play a big role in the final decision.
“Our park police are well-trained, properly certified, and it seems like the perfect marriage,” Commissioner Ted Kopas said, noting the county's ties to the campus, including financial.
“We need to sit down to do the numbers,” he added. “My goal is make this (the costs) a wash.”
Last month, the college's board of trustees gave staff approval to explore the notion of using park police.
One proposal is calling for the officers to monitor the campus from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday. Part-time officers further would staff the campus on Saturdays and for special events. The hours could be expanded over time, according to the proposal.
Officers with the college's current security firm are not armed.
President Daniel Obara said last month the campus is safe, but “in today's environment, we believe we need to upgrade the level of security.”
College spokeswoman Anna Marie Palatella didn't return a call on Thursday seeking comment.
Park police Chief Nick Caesar anticipated Thursday that a minimum eight officers would be needed to supply protection to the college.
“It looks like we'll have to have at least five full-time and three part-time officers,” he said.
Those officers either may come from the current ranks or be new hires, Caesar said.
To save costs, park police will look to use equipment the college may have, such as vehicles, he said.
“We're going to do everything we can to keep the costs down,” Caesar added.
He applauded college officials for considering the idea of using park police.
“I give them a lot of credit for taking this step. They're very proactive. They want to have a safe campus,” he said.
Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622 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.
- H&M to open in Westmoreland Mall
- Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County, Youngwood discuss sewage system sale
- Greensburg still fighting waterlogged Lynch Field, may add drainage
- Youngwood officials defend rules for rentals
- Witnesses recount Franklin Regional stabbing
- Westmoreland County Judge Regoli has 5 days to decide on whether he’ll ask for recount
- Trio of concerts to mark Greensburg’s holiday season
- Bill to name interchange for fallen Youngwood firefighter advances
- Former Hempfield Area director makes guest appearance at University of Alabama
- Steelworkers rally at ATI plant in Derry Township
- Jeannette Fire Department celebrates centennial