Chester County Residents Concerned About Plans To Disband Westtown-East Goshen Regional Police Department
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By Todd Quinones
Residents want to know if the regional police force is disbanded, what will take its place. It’s a simple question with no real obvious answer.
Emotions ran high as residents demanded answers. They want to know what will replace the regional police force that covers about 26 square miles in Chester County.
Plans right now are to move forward with disbanding the Westtown-East Goshen Regional Police department or WEGO.
The East Goshen board of supervisors indicated contingency plans are being considered.
“East Goshen Township will have a police department,” Township Supervisor Senya Isayeff said.
It’s not clear what that means.
Options include being covered by the state police or starting a new police department and residents want to know how much a new department would cost.
“What it would cost to start a police department depends on a whole host of factors that are extraordinarily complicated,” Township Treasurer John Altshul said.
Contract negotiations are at a standstill. The union claims it has offered close to $400,000 in concessions for the 35 police officers it represents.
“This tentative agreement is good for everybody. These men and women that I work with the put their lives on the line everyday for your family and for their family,” Anthony Ruggerio, president of the Police Association said.
The East Goshen Supervisors indicated the concessions need to be close to $1 million in order for the 31-year-old police department to be financially sustainable.
“This is the most difficult challenge that we have ever faced,” Township Supervisor E. Martin Shane said.
Supervisors indicated reaching a deal is still possible and disbanding the regional police department may not be necessary.