FORD CITY, Pa. - Residents of Ford City said it was the last thing they wanted to hear, but talks are now underway to possibly disband the city’s police department.
Channel 11’s Dave Bondy reported that talks of getting rid of the Ford City Police are happening because of overwhelming debt.
But the conversation is also sparking more than just frustration for residents. Bondy reports that the mayor is blaming city council for the debt, and city council is blaming former council members.
“Might as well put a sign up [saying] ‘Heroin dealers welcome,” Mayor Marc. A. Mantini said.
Resident Betsy Bribik said the proposal has her worried for her family’s safety.
“Absolutely not. We need the police. We need their presence here because at least if you have the presence of the police force, you have the ability to control the bad element in town,” Bribik said.
Ford City Council has many options, Bondy reported. One option is to hire a nearby municipality to patrol the streets. Another is hiring a non-union chief and limit or eliminate part-time officers. The final option is to completely disband and use state police at no cost.
Mantini said he’s frustrated and is calling on city council to “step up and do what it takes for public safety.”
“It’s easy to find fault, but to find a solution is very difficult,” Martini said.
One council member told Bondy that previous council members are to blame for the budget deficit.