Regional police update Public meeting set for June 29

By on June 22, 2011

By: GARY P. KLINGER Record Express Correspondent, Staff Writer

Warwick Township officials continue to move forward with exploratory plans for a joint regional police force in partnership with Clay and Penn townships. That was the latest news on the topic discussed at the June 15 supervisors meeting.

Zoning officer Tom Zorbaugh, filling for township manager Dan Zimmerman, reminded the supervisors that a joint public meeting is scheduled for June 29 at 7 p.m. The meeting, which has been advertised and posted, will be held at the Clay Township municipal building. Among the topics will be the process of selecting a police chief to head the new force.

Zorbaugh stressed that the discussion would surround the process and not the selection of an actual candidate. Warwick Township continues to lead the way in screening potential candidates for the position. If plans for the joint force ultimately fail, Warwick will be in need of a new chief since Ed Tobin recently retired to focus on his district judge candidacy.

Also last week, supervisors were updated on several local road projects currently underway. It was reported that work on Buckwalter Road had been complete, while work on the Clay Road bridge and along Route 501 continues. Efforts along Route 501 include widening the road to allow for a center turn lane in conjunction with the Target department store project at the Shoppes at Kissel Village, as well as in conjunction with the intersection of Route 501 and Owl Hill Road where a Members First Credit Union branch is being built. Both projects are on schedule for completion by the end of this month.

Township police officer Rick Rhineer reported to supervisors that signs posting the new 45 mph speed limit along Millway Road have been installed. He added that driver awareness units were being used to inform motorists of the speed limit change.

Rhineer also reported on the huge success of the department’s recent seat belt project. Officers designated a total of 65 hours monitoring traffic for seat belt violations. He said that over 150 vehicles were stopped with citations being issued for a large number of those drivers.

It was also announced that Warwick Township Police are planning a special four-hour DUI enforcement activity in the near future. At an undisclosed place and time, officers plan to set up a DUI checkpoint as part of the team’s work with the county DUI task force. In such a checkpoint, all drivers are stopped and sobriety checked.

Zorbaugh updated supervisors on the considerable progress being made with abandoned properties within the township. Zorbaugh noted that the list of properties which were considered abandoned and which were not being maintained by the homeowner, mortgage company or a lawn care contract dropped from 30 last month to three this month. The huge drop is due largely to the persistent efforts of township officials to go after responsible parties.

Finally, it should be noted that supervisors will follow a summer schedule for meetings, with no morning meetings to be held the first Wednesday of the month in July and August. More WARWICK TOWNSHIP, page A14