Fiefdoms prevent regional police efficiencies
By Uncle Irvin
Every businessman knows that “economies of scale” allow enterprises to become more efficient at less cost.
Because most borough council members and township supervisors are not businessmen with respect to running their own businesses and being concerned about operating profitably, and because of petty jealousy, there is no regional police force in southern Chester County. But because of population increases, all local police need more money and infrastructure, which jacks up property taxes on all taxpayers.
Now New Garden Township—and, to a lesser extent, East Marlborough—are confronted with the need to expand their police forces, including new buildings, communications technology, and additional staffing. The Kennett Square Borough police budget is strangling the town, and Kennett Township is investing $200,000 on a one-man police force that is totally worthless.
Why don't the leaders of the municipalities get together and discuss a regional police force that can operate efficiently, at less cost and, along with minimal participation of the State Police, do a better job of protecting the public? The regional force should have one chief, two or three lieutenants and detectives, and should be governed by a jointly appointed committee of council members and supervisors. We would have a far better force at a lower cost.
The same joint force argument can be made for Oxford Borough, Lower Oxford and East Nottingham Township.
Regional police forces are multiplying all over, and there is nothing to prevent a win-win proposition—except for the myopic vision of borough and township officials.