Shenango Township moves to leave Southwest Regional Police - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Shenango Township moves to leave Southwest Regional Police

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SHENANGO TOWNSHIP, Pa -

Leaders of a Mercer County community took the first step that could affect the future of the Southwest Regional Police department.

Shenango Township supervisors voted Thursday night to begin searching for a police chief who would operate a newly created police department.  Supervisor Chairman Tom Hubert tells 21 news that Shenango Township is exploring the possibility of ending its affiliation with Southwest Regional Police.

Hubert says the supervisors believe that if the township resurrects its own police force, they could reduce the amount spent on police protection by five to ten percent after paying for the first year of setup costs. 

The police department would occupy space left vacant in the township building when they disbanded the old police department a decade ago.   Under the present contract, Shenango Township would acquire two cruisers from Southwest Regional Police if they left the regional department.

Hubert says that he hopes to have a chief in place by August. The township would need to notify Southwest Regional Police by November 1 that they are ending their affiliation.

In addition to Shenango Township, Southwest Regional police provides protection to the City of Farrell, the Borough of Wheatland, and West Middlesex

Farrell Mayor Olive McKeithan says the city can no longer spend $1.2 million on on police protection each year.

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

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