WEST EASTON, Pa. (FOX 29) - More than a thousand small communities throughout Pennsylvania rely on state police for their protection. That number is about to drop by one. The tiny borough of West Easton in Northampton County announced plans for their own part-time force.
West Easton's former firehouse and Borough Hall will become the headquarters of West Easton's first local police force since 1966.
"My dream was to have a police department that we could call our own and have vehicles that were marked West Easton Police Department," Mayor Daniel DePaul said.
State police veteran Rob Mahady is expected to lead the borough's new three to four man, part-time force starting in April or May.
"The state police have done a phenomenal job, but they want a little hands-on and I hope I can offer that as well," he said.
State police have been protecting this mostly residential community since 2013 free of charge. But the governor and state lawmakers are talking about changing that policy.
"There's a strong movement in Harrisburg to have local governments pay fees for state police coverage, so Mayor DePaul and the people of West Easton may be ahead of the curve," Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli said.
Borough officials believe they have the funding to pay for the part-time force.