Montgomery County residents pack another meeting to discuss future of Jenkintown police

Montgomery County residents are once again weighing in on a plan to disband the Jenkintown Police force in a standing room only meeting Monday. 

Community members packed the meeting to discuss the future of their local police force. 

"We love the police. We need them. They know our kids. If you take them away and start to everything else," said Jonathan Hong, Jenkintown resident. 

Jenkintown residents are overwhelmingly frustrated that officials are considering getting rid of their police department and what they feel would impact their safety. 

"I’m upset," said Steve Walsh, Jenkintown resident. "It's a small community. Police do a great job. Not just policing but preventing crime.

Last week’s meeting was held in a small borough council chambers, but even when held at Jenkintown High School’s auditorium, it’s still not enough space to fit concerned community members. 

Currently, officials say they are considering dissolving the 11 officer police force to save money. Instead, the borough would contract out to neighboring Abington and Cheltenham townships. But one option that’s off the table since last week is state police stepping in because of the barrack’s distance to the borough.


Dissolving police department considered by Jenkintown officials, amid financial concerns

Jenkintown Borough officials say they have financial concerns, and they are taking a hard look at spending. One item that might be on the chopping block is keeping the local police department.

"I’m hoping police get a fair and equitable contract and continue to have their jobs," said Keith Christian, member of FOP Lodge 14.

A 45-minute presentation at the start of the meeting outlined some of the department’s challenges such as poor training, lack of accreditation, and the previous administration leaving them in a bad place financially

Regardless of the decision made, Police Chief Scott says residents can be rest assured. 

"We also have to look at the bigger picture when it comes to the taxes and what the borrower is going to have to expend in the next five years," said Police Chief Scott. "The police service is not going to change. It's going to be just as good or better."

Monday night, residents really were questioning the transparency of this process. 

One question we keep asking at FOX 29 is what is the timeline on a decision? 

We’re told there isn’t one but they’re currently in negotiations. 

Folks can ask questions at the next council meeting Wednesday night.