Farrell considers cuts to police spending - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Farrell considers cuts to police spending

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FARRELL, Pa. - A Shenango valley city that's fallen on hard times, has tough financial decisions to make.

Farrell city leaders are in the process of searching for ways to trim the city's budget and cuts to the police department's budget are not out of the question. 

The city spends about $1.2 million on police protection each year.

The Southwest Mercer County Police Department based out of Farrell, covers neighboring communities including Wheatland, West Middlesex and Shenango Township. 

Farrell's mayor says her city can no longer foot the portion of the bill it's paying now. 

"We're trying to make it work and trying not to raise taxes, that's the main thing," Olive McKeithan says, Farrell mayor.

McKeithan believes the state will eventually try to do away with Act 47, which designates and supports financially strapped cities in Pa.

She's feeling the pressure to put Farrell in a position to stand on its own. Though layoffs are possible, McKeithan says she doesn't want to take that route. 

The police commission, which oversees the regional department, is expected to have ongoing discussions about how to move forward.

"The only option that the police commission is looking at, is trying to work with other communities to see how we can come to a common ground," McKeithan says.

McKeithan says the city has not yet determined how much it needs to cut back on police spending.

The city's manager is reviewing the budget to search for ways to save. The issue will likely be a topic of discussion at the next Farrell city council meeting on June 23.
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