Reporting Todd Quinones
EAST GOSHEN, Pa. (CBS) – Residents and police in two local townships are upset about township officials’ plans to dissolve the police force.
Following what the Westtown-East Goshen Police Association calls a “mind-boggling decision” by Township Supervisors to reject a jointly negotiated contract for police services wherein township leaders obtained “92 or 93 percent” of the cost savings they had originally sought, East Goshen’s legal counsel now says “both Townships are taking steps to dissolve WEGO,” and says the Westtown-East Goshen Police Association will receive formal notice of “the dissolution of the department in the near future.”
The Westtown Township Board of Supervisors is expected to make a public statement on the issue tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Westtown Municipal Building at 1039 Wilmington Pike, and the Police Association is now calling on residents to attend the meeting and voice their anger at the possible dissolution.
“We asked for 100 percent and we got 92 or 93 percent,” said Superintendent Carmen R. Battavio, who also serves as the townships appointee to the Police Commission. “I am not very pleased that we couldn’t give up 8 percent. I truly believe we’ve got real savings in this agreement that we’re close to getting and could have had tonight.”
Joseph Chupein, an attorney for the police association, called the township superintendents’ decision to disband the police force “absolute, reckless, irresponsible madness.”
Chupein said the officers have offered reductions to medical benefits, pension benefits, service related disability benefits, medical benefits payable to disabled officers, and several other significant concessions, which the Association calculated would save the townships at least $300,000 in the contract’s first year.