By Brad Segall

CHESTER COUNTY, Pa. (CBS) — The regional police department that covers Westtown and East Goshen in Chester County is digging in for a legal battle after elected leaders in the two communities announced plans to disband the department in the wake of a contract dispute.

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The contract covering unionized police officers doesn’t expire until the end of next year, but officials from both municipalities say they will take steps to dissolve the department.

Both sides say they’ve made concessions.  Police union officials say they believed there was the groundwork for a tentative agreement last month, but that fell through.

Local FOP head Anthony Ruggieri says public safety will suffer if this goes through.

“The residents expect a certain level of service that we’ve been providing for years, and I don’t believe that they are going to get that,” he said today.  “And I’m talking about response time.”

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The union expects to file an unfair labor practices complaint, and their attorney says the action to disband the department is unlawful.

Meanwhile, both communities are expected to begin looking at alternative police options.


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