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Elizabeth Borough moves forward with plans to dissolve police department

Local borough moves forward with plans to dissolve police
Local borough moves forward with plans to dissolve police 02:18

ELIZABETH, Pa. (KDKA) — Elizabeth Borough Council voted on Tuesday night to move forward with plans to dissolve its police department. 

Starting on April 1, the Elizabeth Township Police Department will be subcontracted out to cover the borough.

The council's decision came on the heels of a standing-room-only meeting in August where borough residents weighed in on the proposed plans. 

"Everyone said keep the police, raise the taxes," Elizabeth Borough Police Chief William Sombo said.

Despite the community's outcry, the council passed the motion to dissolve the department and enter into a contract with the Elizabeth Township Police Department to cover the borough. When finalized in 90 days, Sombo and the department's 11 part-time officers will lose their jobs. 

"You're still going to have to pay for policing," Sombo said. "It's really, really sad that the people of Elizabeth Borough spoke a month ago and made it clear."

"For us here at Elizabeth Township police, those are our neighboring agency, our friends, so there's no celebration here," Elizabeth Township Police Chief Kenneth Honick said.

Honick said the borough's loss is in no way the township's gain. He said he found out about the disbandment on Tuesday night like everyone else. His duty now is to provide quality law enforcement services to everyone. 

"We're moving into a planning phase," Honick said. "Making sure our structure is solid and that we can take a look at mapping and patrol zones."

Honick said his department opened a hiring announcement on Wednesday and encourages the borough's officers to apply.

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