Gettysburg discusses policing

Borough Manager Charles Gable said the proposed 2023 budget would include the possibility of hiring an additional 2 full-time police officers. If approved, the officers would cost the borough about $100,000 each.

If approved, the new officers would bring the force to a total of 14 full-time officers.

Glenny reminded drivers that there is an implied pedestrian crosswalk at every intersection that has either a stop sign or a stop light. Glenny said pedestrians always have the right of way if they are in the area of a crosswalk.

“Whether it is painted, marked, designated, or not, if somebody is crossing the street at an intersection and they are in the area that would be a crosswalk, vehicles have to stop for them,” said Glenny.

Glenny also reminded pedestrians that if they do not have right of way if they are crossing the street outside of an intersection.

Glenny also said that pedestrians who are crossing at crosswalks in which there are pedestrian-controlled flashing lights must use the lights to assure they have the right of way while crossing.

Glenny said the department would be continuing its enforcement of pedestrian and driver safety regulations.

Glenny also said that nationally there had been an increase in the use of drugs that do not respond to the Narcan antidote. “We are seeing that tick up.  I hope and pray that that doesn’t come here. We as a community have done will with Narcan and reducing our overdose deaths,” he said.

Glenny said the department was applying for a $148,000 local law enforcement support grant from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD). The grant, if approved, would provide upgrades to police department computers and communications as well as for video surveillance around Lincoln Square. The grant also requests funding for officer training, retention bonuses, and wellness support. Glenny said the grant requests were all tied to reducing crime rates and increasing clearance rates.

Mayor Rita Frealing said that this year’s borough Trick or Treat will be held Monday Oct. 31 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Saying lighting in the borough is not always good, Frealing asked drivers to slow down during the trick or treat hours.

The date for the 2022 Halloween Parade has also been announced as Oct. 25 with a rain date on Oct. 27.  The parade will include two Grand Marshals: Frealing and former mayor Ted Streeter.

Board member Chad-Alan Carr reminded council that Gettysburg Project Léon had sponsored the 2022 Salsa on the Square event and encouraged people to donate to the organization during the upcoming Giving Spree.

Martin Jolin was re-appointed to a 5-year term on the Shade Tree Commission. Rebecca Brown was appointed as an alternate to the Shade Tree Commission, also for a 5-year term.

The borough said their health insurance costs would rise 15.8 percent in 2023. The increase is substantially larger than the increases over the past years, which have averaged about 6 percent. Gable said the overall increase to the borough would be about $80,000.

The borough’s health insurance is provided through the PCHIP health insurance program along with 287 other state municipalities. The borough said despite the 2023 increase, the borough’s membership in the cooperative had helped reduce health care costs.

“Getting back into this cooperative was very important for the budget,” said Council President Wes Heyser. “Cooperatives such as this are critical because they allow us to spread risk across such a large group.”

A PCHIP representative said the large increase was likely a “1 year blip.”

Healthcare is provided for full-time borough employees including members of the policed department. Borough council members do not get a healthcare benefit.

The borough reported that Waste Management (WM) had paid $7,500 in fines related to service lapses. The borough also reported that WM had substantially improved its services and that the the borough was no longer threatening to terminate their contract. “Substantially the service has improved,” said Heyser. “We’ve come to a fairly decent resolution with WM.”

The council reported that the Gettysburg Municipal Authority was purchasing the a property at 424 E. Middle St., to be used for office space.

The borough will consider adding new federal holidays to the free parking schedule.

A Planning Commission meeting will be held on Oct. 17 at 7:00 p.m.

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Charles (Chuck) Stangor is Gettysburg Connection's Owner, Publisher, and Editor in Chief. I would like to hear from you. Please contact me at cstangor@gettysburgconnection.org.

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