Upper Perkiomen Police Commission voted to eliminate two police officers to help balance the budget during its Monday night police commission meeting. The police commission voted unanimously for the change in staff.
East Greenville Borough Mayor and Upper Perk Police Commissioner Chairman Ryan Sloyer disagreed.
"East Greenville does not believe the layoff of two officers is in the the best interest of the safety and well-being of the residents," he said.
A tentative agreement was originally made between the Upper Perk Police Commission, Police Chief and Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) regarding the current police contracts and future finances for both East Greenville and the Pennsburg boroughs.
"During the discussions, the police commission reached a tentative agreement with over $50,000 in concession from the Police officers and Chief…. The officers understood, and have worked with the police commission in the past, agreeing to concessions in 2011 and 2012 totaling over $20,000 each year," stated Mayor Sloyer in a written address to the taxpayers of the borough.
The agreement was approved by both the commission members and Borough of East Greenville as written, but Pennsburg modified the text before approving the agreement. The Police Chief and FOP rejected the proposed changes by the Borough of Pennsburg. According to the Mayor, "without that agreement, difficult decisions have to be made."
The commission supports the reduction of officers "for the interest of maintaining the regional force and future sustainability" of the police district to see a future regional department. The names of the officers chosen to be laid off have not yet been released until they have been properly notified. One of the police officers that has been eliminated from the force is a part-time employee and was eliminated immediately.
Residents who spoke at the meeting did not agree with the commissions decision in cutting officers from the force.
"If we start cutting out resources [and] cutting our costs, we're going to have a problems," stated resident Khris Baccari during public comment.
"These men fight for our community and our livelihoods, safety does not have a price tag," said Danielle Skyes, supporting the local officers.