West Cocalico renews contract with Ephrata police

By on June 5, 2019

In a pre-emptive move to secure a new five-year police services contract, West Cocalico supervisors voted unanimously May 2 to accept a proposal from the Ephrata Police Department to replace a contract running out at the end of 2020.

The new contract will feature a reduced 3.5% increase in 2020 and would hold that annual increase number through 2025.

Details on the contract are available at the Township office.

Prior to 2015, West Cocalico Township had utilized the services of the East Cocalico Police Department for decades, along with the two boroughs adjacent to the townships &tstr; Denver and Adamstown &tstr; but late in the year, both West Cocalico and Adamstown reported they would not be renewing a contract with the department.

Ephrata Review reporting from 2015 cited “protracted and problematic regional police talks” and remarks by Adamstown officials citing higher costs.

Ultimately, West Cocalico’s board chose to contract with the Ephrata Police Department.

As West Cocalico’s first five-year contract with EPD nears a close, the abrupt renewal shows general satisfaction on the part of the township.

In comments on May 21 explaining the board’s current position, chairman James Stoner said the decision to renew with Ephrata was largely financial.

“We wanted to get a jump on it,” he said. “They (EPD) gave us a little bit of an incentive; we thought it was a very fair offer.”

Stoner said the police rates offered are consistent with what Ephrata police are offering other municipalities.

“They want to treat everybody fairly,” Stoner said.

Board members Jeff Sauder and Leon Eby did not add comment.

In addition to the reduction in cost increases, the Ephrata Police Department is also offering West Cocalico an early signing bonus for an undisclosed amount of money.

“They’re giving us what we feel is a fair deal,” said Carolyn Hildebrand Township manager May 23, calling the reduction of cost increases for next year “excellent” for the township, and citing her ability to budget for the long-term.

“I can budget that for the next five years,” she said.

As police services remain the biggest cost for most Lancaster County municipalities, the ability to budget years in advance is certainly valuable; in West Cocalico, at least, the effort to provide protection and security for residents seems to be going pretty well.

Justin Stoltzfus is a correspondent for The Ephrata Review.

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