Bentleyville lays groundwork for new police force

May 22, 2014
Police Chief Richard Young

BENTLEYVILLE – Bentleyville council, as expected, has re-established a borough police department, with plans to have an officer on the beat as early as July 1.

The borough’s contract for patrols with Southwest Regional police department expires June 30, and the deal requires a 30-day notice from either side to end their relationship, Bentleyville solicitor Dennis Makel said.

“There will be no gaps in coverage,” Makel said at a special meeting Wednesday when council unanimously adopted the ordinance creating a police department.

Council has been in negotiations for about a year to hire Beallsville police Chief Richard Young for the new department. Young attended Wednesday’s council meeting and, before it started, said an offer from Bentleyville had not yet been made.

Residents have expressed a desire to have a local department since the borough disbanded its police force eight years ago over financial issues.

The board met in executive session Wednesday night to discuss hiring a police chief.

“Somewhere down the road you hire that person,” Makel said.

The township secretary was assigned Wednesday to begin seeking estimates on the cost of a police cruiser.

“You need a police car, weapons and to outfit the officer,” Makel said.

The ordinance permits the hiring of other officers, whose duties could include assignments at Bentworth School District.

Scott Beveridge is a North Charleroi native who has lived most of his life in nearby Rostraver Township. He is a general assignments reporter focusing on investigative journalism and writing stories about the mid-Mon Valley. He has a bachelor's degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a master's from Duquesne University. Scott spent three weeks in Vietnam in 2004 as a foreign correspondent under an International Center for Journalists fellowship.

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