Denver looking to lock in police coverage costs through 2020

By on November 2, 2016

The single biggest budget expense for Denver Borough is police service, usually in the neighborhood of a half million dollars.

At its Monday night meeting, the council announced that its projected police contract costs could be locked in through 2020.

Continuing to contract service from the East Cocalico Police Department was a choice Denver Council made a year ago when two years of talks between the four Cocalico-area municipalities (Adamstown, Denver, East Cocalico Township, and West Cocalico Township) to form a regional police force collapsed.

Councilman Mike Gensemer, finance chair, reported “cordial and productive police service budget meetings with East Cocalico supervisors, the interim manager, and the police chief.”

Proposed costs for Denver’s contracted police coverage from East Cocalico, contingent upon a new four-year contract being written and signed, were discussed.

The East Cocalico solicitor will draw up the contract with projected costs of $501,000 in 2017 (a 4.8-percent increase); $521,040 in 2018 (a 4-percent increase); $544,486.80 in 2019 (a 4.5-percent increase) and $566,266.27 in 2020 (a 4-percent increase).

Gensemer said East Cocalico officials understand that Denver is built out and will not be adding new housing developments and substantial new revenue. Denver also wants to continue the community policing model, which everyone agrees works well. In Cpl. Christopher Progin’s police report, he highlighted, more than once, where a quick response time saved a life.

The East Cocalico Police also conduct community outreach education courses. For example, recently the police assisted with classes on seatbelt safety at Cocalico High School and bicycle safety at Reamstown Elementary School.

Council President Blake Daub complimented leaders of both municipalities involved in the police contract on their hard work to “get to this point.”

In other business:

* Progin, reporting for Chief Terry Arment, said Denver’s 205 calls for service in September were the highest this year.

He attributed the increase to the thousands of people who come into the borough for the annual Denver Fair week.

“It’s always a busy time for us,” he said.

* Progin thanked the Denver Volunteer Fire Company. “They are the one volunteer fire company which always responds to all serious EMS calls. We really appreciate that help,” he told council.

* Gensemer reported on the Cocalico School Board invitation to the council to attend the Monday, Nov. 7, school board meeting to discuss the School Resource Officer (SRO) Program.

The invitation stated that the school board does not have interest in proceeding with the program at this time. Representatives from Denver Council and the East Cocalico supervisors as well as Arment will attend the school board meeting to provide information about the program.

* Council will help facilitate the anti-heroin community event planned for Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017 in the Cocalico High School cafeteria. The program, conducted by the Anti-Heroin Task Force, will be similar to one presented in Conestoga Valley School District this fall.

* Kyle Sellers of the Adamstown Area Library updated council members on 2016 programs and 2017 plans. Patron visits are up 10 percent over last year. Of particular interest to everyone was the site, Tutor.com, which provides data bases, other information and a live tutor to assist students. This site covers all grade levels and college coursework.

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