Regional police makes debut Dec. 26

By on December 21, 2011

By: STEPHEN SEEBER Record Express Staff, Staff Writer

"We’re ready to go."

That was update from David Steffen, the chief of the new Northern Lancaster County Regional Police Department.

The new force, which covers Warwick, Penn and Clay townships, will officially be up and running on Dec. 26.

From a historical perspective, Christmas Day 2011 will be the last that the Warwick Township Police Department exists. From that point on, policing outside the borough will embrace the regional approach. With that, according to Steffen, comes improved coverage through staggered shifts and a cost savings for all three municipalities.

The number of sworn officers, 24, will not change; however, Steffen said there will be more officers on patrol than in the past.

He also said savings, including overtime reduction and the elimination of duplicated efforts (one chief, instead of three, for example), will be immediate. Total cost savings, he added, could be realized within three years.

He said costs associated with the transition are about $90,000.

"But those costs are to be somewhat mitigated by active grant applications," he said. "And it’s also spread among three municipalities."

All of the officers were sworn in as regional officers this past Monday. The cars are ready, the new tan and black uniforms are ready, records have been centralized and the new headquarters have been set up at the Clay Township police building. The police facilities in Warwick and Penn townships will be used as satellite offices.

"It’s been fun watching people come together with one goal," Steffen said. "Organizationally, everyone is doing a terrific job. It’s been a real good team building exercise."

He added that a new NLCRPD website will be online soon, hopefully by Dec. 26. Look for it at nlcrpd.org. More REGIONAL POLICE, page A22

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