Dauphin County explores a countywide police force

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Apr 28, 2014 4:51 AM

(Harrisburg) -- Dauphin County is looking into whether combining police forces could make sense for some communities or even countywide.

Some municipalities in the county have studied the issue before, but not at the level like this new effort.


A group of law enforcement leaders has been formed to study whether combining police departments would be beneficial.

Regionalization brings with it many hurdles, but Commissioner Mike Pries says that's what this process is for.

"'Course there's challenges, but these are things that we're going to determine through the study, and find out whether or not these are things that are going to work together."

In terms of county-wide police, Allegheny County is mentioned as an example, but officers primarily work on investigations, not patrols.

"We're in 2014, this is something that we believe the time has come to take the next step, to really study this and see if its an opportunity that can come to fruition," says Pries. He adds with advanced technology, plus the chance to save millions, this is a logical decision.

As to questions about how feasible the whole plan is, Pries cautions patience until the study is complete.

"A lot of the issues are exactly the same. Drugs happen in the city, drugs happen in the rural and suburban areas. Homicides happen in the city at a higher rate than they happen in the rural and suburban areas. Traffic citations, DUIs, these happen all over the place."

He points to other regional operations like the county's 911 call center and drug task force as successes.

Several communities across the region are considering proposals to merge their police forces into a regional department.

Published in News

Tagged under , ,

back to top

Give Now

Estate Planning

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »

Smart Talk

National Edward R. Murrow Awards

DuPont Columbia Awards

Support Local Journalism

Latest News from NPR

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »