Sunday, December 7, 2008

Response to Catherine Poole's Article

We thought we would use today's post to dissect a recent article by Catherine Poole in the Daily Local. Below in blue are Catherine’s quotes and red is our response. Note that Ms. Poole originally blogged that she was supportive of going to State Police. That was until the BOS began to move in the direction. Then it became a bad idea.

A tough decision has been made for Wallace residents. No longer will they have the neighborhood police, the Brandywine Regional Police to come to their aid. They stand to lose the lifesaving response to a call for medical assistance before the ambulance arrives, speed enforcement, and regular patrols that invoke a sense of real security.
In fact State Police respond to all calls for medical assistance and are as well trained as local police. Secondly, State Police will perform speed enforcement per the request of the township in problem areas that arise. They also have the advantage of radar which local police are prohibited from using. Lastly, State Police will perform regular patrols in the township, as the township will be added to a zone with other townships that are patrolled 24 hours a day by State Police. Once again lots of misinformation being thrown out to scare residents and tarnish the BOS and the State Police.

Instead, without a public vote, the supervisors have chosen the state police to cover the township 24/7.
Ms. Poole has attended many meetings where it has been made clear that in Pennsylvania you cannot add this type of question to a ballot. We do not live in California where you can add anything you want as a referendum on a ballot. Again, this is to make the perception that the BOS is somehow trying to sneak something through without public input. They only held many public meetings, a police hearing and 2 open houses on Police services. Not exactly trying to shut the public out.

The state police will be there for 911 calls only. How fast they respond depends on their call load and location. We don't have a choice, so hopefully it will work out.
State Police will respond to every call for police, just as the BRPD do now. And, as with the BRPD, of course it will depend on their call load and location as to how fast they will respond. Again, this statement is meant to leave you with the impression that you are going to call for police one day and they won't show up. Scare tactics.

The sad reality is that neither side brought in an outside mediator to resolve the longstanding differences. Regional police makes sense for the communities where we live.
What interest did East Brandywine have in a mediator? They had the building; they had Wallace paying for it. They had 2 votes to 1, so controlled every decision. They have a large tax base to keep paying for a larger and larger department. It seems clear to us they were telling Wallace pay up or get out. How do you negotiate, mediator or not, with a disinterested party? Regional police makes sense for communities where we live. Really? How do you come to that conclusion? Seems to us it might not have been the best fit.

Does this type of rhetoric really help the township? Or does it just cause needless hurt, fear and bitterness between residents, who might otherwise join together to make this township a better place.

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