Police decision could affect high school
911 response time would increase dramatically
MILFORD — Delaware Valley School District Board discussed the effects of opting out of the Eastern Pike Regional Police Department, a proposal currently in front of Westfall Town Board. At question is — what would it mean in terms of safety to the campus, mostly located in Westfall.
Board member and Chair of the Health, Welfare, and Safety Committee Jack O’Leary brought the situation to the Board’s attention. “Westfall wants to opt out of the agreement, leaving only Matamoras with a police department. The School District would then have to go to the State Police first. Westfall’s only support would be in Bloomingburg. If a 911 call goes out from the school, it’s routed to the State Police. Matamoras would be only responsible for Matamoras.”
The problem is to do with the response times. It takes about 20 minutes at top speed to come from Bloomingburg, four exits or 34 miles on Route 84 to reach the campus; local Westfall police can respond in minutes.
Superintendent John Bell explained in a phone call about the incident DVSD Police Chief Mark Moglia mentioned at the meeting. He used to be the Chief at Westfall Police.
“Back in the 1990s, there was a dad who shot a mom on campus, and took the daughter. Local police took only four minutes to respond, but it took State Police 20 minutes to get here. We didn’t have our own police back then.”
Bell continued, “Eastern Pike Regional Police is very valuable protection for us, and without them, we would have to hire more police here in the School District.”
A recommendation to send a letter stating the Board’s support for continuing Eastern Pike Regional Police to the next Westfall Town meeting June 2 will be put to the DVSB in their May 22 meeting, when the budget will be voted on as well, Bell said.
Bell continued, saying the District has four police officers; two in the Delaware Valley Campus, one in Shohola, and one in Dingman Delaware.
O’Leary also said the kids in the school need police protection in the case of emergencies. He said Westfall is having financial trouble, and that’s why he thought they want to renegotiate the contract with Matamoras. He said he will go to the meeting as the representative of the School District, and that he won’t allow the school kids be left without protection.
Kelly Dolge who was present at the meeting raised more issues. “What if there’s a catastrophe, if we end up with another issue at the school, we’ll have to wait for 20 minutes for the State Police. It takes five minutes for the local police. The thing is, Westfall really loses, because they will have to continue to pay for at least two years even if they vote to opt out... give all the equipment to Matamoras, and pay $750,000.”
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