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Residents speak out against disbanding Jenkintown Police Department at second borough meeting

Majority of people who attended borough meeting don't want Jenkintown's Police Department to disband
Majority of people who attended borough meeting don't want Jenkintown's Police Department to disband 02:14

JENKINTOWN, Pa. (CBS) -- Jenkintown residents showed strength in numbers Monday night after learning their police department could be disbanded in the future.

The Borough Council held a second meeting at Jenkintown High School for residents to ask questions after the first was held last week. Not a seat was open in the auditorium, and there were a lot of emotions in the room. 

"Everybody cares. I don't think anyone here wants them to leave," Jenkintown resident Geri Connolly said.

Borough Council held the meeting to focus on public safety and the possibility of dissolving the Jenkintown Police Department and outsourcing coverage due to a budget shortfall.


The borough says officials are just trying to figure out what option is better financially to offer the best public safety services to the residents.

"And I just want to be clear that we have not had any conversations with neighboring communities. We only have been having this conversation and what it would look like and how we would want to present it to our community," Jay Conners, the Borough Council President, said. 

While some say they are open to outsourcing coverage if it will save tax dollars, the majority of the people in the crowd wanted the police department to stay put.

"After 62 years here, the police that are in the town know each kid, each family. They know all about them, and it was a closeness with them. I think getting absorbed into Abington or one of those other towns is just ridiculous," Jim Connolly said.

Residents say they love the Jenkintown community and were not surprised at the turnout Monday night.

"It's a nice community. The people are very nice and I just don't want things to change," Deborah Kerrin said.

"The Jenkintown is a very, very passionate community, and as you can see, it will continue to be that way and it's wonderful to see everybody," David Alexander said.

The Jenkintown Police Benevolent President said they are disheartened by the idea and this would be a life-changing event for the officers. There was no decision Monday night. 

Police Chief Tommy Scott says discussing this matter will take time.

"We have no timetable. We have to make the best decision and we are going to get as much information as possible and we have to look at all the possibilities," Scott said

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