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After split, city police to rejoin county drug task force

Written by Gordon Rago/The York Daily Record | Jul 27, 2017 8:15 AM
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District Attorney Tom Kearney listens to a question during a news conference on Jan. 4, 2016, in Penn Township. Law enforcement seized more than 250 pounds of marijuana in an operation that involved the York County Drug Task Force. (Photo: File)

(York) -- The York City Police department, after a years-long split from the county's drug task force, is set to rejoin the force, officials said on Wednesday.

Both law enforcement agencies will appear together for a morning news conference today, saying they have entered into a "memorandum of understanding," the county district attorney's office wrote in a news release.

York City police detectives have not been part of the task force since 2013. While details of the split remained unclear, York City Police Chief Wes Kahley said recently that he "promised to work with whomever the next DA is to solve the issues for the betterment of the community and I intend to keep that promise."

The announcement comes as Dave Sunday, a chief deputy prosecutor, is set to become York County's next district attorney. Tom Kearney said that he will be retiring after two terms. Sunday ran for the position, defeating Jonelle Eshbach in the Republican primary.

Sunday will take office, barring a successful write-in campaign or third-party candidate in the November election. Sunday's opponent had argued that the separation between city police and the task force was inefficient and dangerous.

In a column published in April, Kahley wrote that he had no interest in opening "old wounds" and that both sides see the discrepancies slightly differently.

"The simplest answer to what occurred is that Dave Sunday and I failed as leaders during a pivotal time," Kahley wrote. "The public is not interested in petty differences between entities or personalities."

He called it "vitally important" that the city and drug task force work to rebuild their cooperative effort.

Last month, York Mayor Kim Bracey told the York Daily Record that Sunday and Kahley had met recently and that she looked forward to the outcome of their conversations.

The news conference will be held at the York County Judicial Center, 45 N. George St. in York at 11 a.m. Sunday and Kahley will be joined by Kearney and other local law enforcement officials including police chiefs from Springettsbury Township, West Manchester, Northern York County Regional and Pennsylvania State Police.

This story is part of a partnership between WITF and the York Daily Record.

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