One year on, Ephrata Police coverage going well

By on January 18, 2017
West Cocalico Supervisors prepare for Tuesday night’s meeting. From left, James J. Stoner, Ray Burns, and Leon Eby. Photo by Patrick Burns

West Cocalico Supervisors prepare for Tuesday night’s meeting. From left, James J. Stoner, Ray Burns, and Leon Eby. Photo by Patrick Burns

 

It has been a year since West Cocalico Township contracted coverage with Ephrata Police, terminating years of having that service provided by the East Cocalico Police Department.

Looking back over the past 12 months, Ephrata Police Chief William L. Harvey told the West Cocalico supervisors at their Jan. 17 meeting that the transaction has been seamless.

“Looking at the conclusion of the year, I think we’ve had a really good year here,” Harvey said. “It’s been an exceptionally smooth transition.”

Ephrata last week added two more officers only a year after East Cocalico Police reduced its 17-officer department to 14 on Jan. 1, 2016.

That’s when Adamstown and West Cocalico opted out of contracts with East Cocalico Police.

West Cocalico Township and Adamstown cited their reluctance to help pay the unfunded police pension expenses. East Cocalico supervisors countered on the unfairness of West Cocalico and Adamstown not paying expenses incurred by all four municipalities as officers were added to service a larger area.

Harvey also provided the board with his monthly report from December.

Among the 60 incidents police responded to in West Cocalico were 15 traffic stops, nine citations, “a few civil disputes, and a couple of animal related,” he said. There was one Narcan save, related to a heroin overdose.

There were eight motor vehicle accidents including four reportable and four non-reportable. Two of the crashes involved deer in the road, one involving an Ephrata Police vehicle.

“Sorry to say the deer didn’t make it,” Harvey said. “In the video it looks like the deer came right out of the sky just like Rudolph.”

Harvey said the number of fraud calls have increased significantly in the area ­ especially ones that play on the emotions of older people in phone scams where a criminal informs a woman her son is in jail and requires bail money.

Another common scam is one in which a caller informs a person they have won a cash prize but must pay the taxes up front.

Harvey also noted another common fraud asks victims to donate to a charity that does not exist.

“Last year we had a spike of the ‘your son’s in jail’ calls,” he said. “We literally had little old ladies wiring money to these people.”

Harvey said the more frequent scams are looking for donations to organizations. He said his neighbor got a call from the “Police and Troopers Association.”

“We called and checked; it doesn’t exist,” he said. “None of those type charities are soliciting right now. But there are the ones who play on emotion such as ‘don’t you want to help the wounded soldier or help the nice trooper?’ They’re very convincing.”

In other news, supervisors are looking into a complaint by a resident who claims his Blue Ridge Cable bill went up due to an increase to the “East Cocalico cable franchise agreement.”

Carolyn Hildebrand, township manager, said she is unaware of any increase and that the township has not received added revenue from Blue Ridge.

Patrick Burns is a staff writer and social media editor for The Ephrata Review. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at pburns.eph@lnpnews.com or at 721-4455.

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