Plans moving forward to merge Brackenridge, Tarentum police departments

BRACKENRIDGE, Pa. — Since the tragic death of Chief Justin McIntire, policing in Brackenridge Borough has not been the same, with State police helping to cover patrols.

Now, a department merger is in the works that would mean even bigger changes.

“The amount of money and administrative infrastructure that it takes to rebuild a small police department after such a terrible loss is a lot for any town and Brackenridge is a really small town,” said Brackenridge Mayor Lindsay Fraser.

Her borough is moving forward with plans to combine the Brackenridge and Tarentum Borough Police Departments.

Both boroughs are currently working to nail down final details, including financial decisions and a chain of command.

In Tarentum, residents are all for the joining of Brackenridge’s three officers and Tarentum’s 10.

“I think it’s a great idea because they’re both small towns and they usually look out for each other anyway,” said Kathy Fajbik. “I think it’d be great.”

“They all get along; they always have each other’s back. They come this way when we need them, they go that way when they need them, and they’ve both great police forces,” added Mary McBurney.

Tarentum council member Carrie Fox is also on board.

“With two small communities, it’s definitely worth looking into always to save their community money and to save ourselves. Plus, it’s for the safety and the welfare of the community, to make it a safer place to live,” said Fox.

Meanwhile, Fraser is excited about the future of public safety in her community.

She hopes to have everything finalized sometime this summer.

“I think the Brackenridge residents will actually see better police service just because of the better technology and resources that Tarentum Police Department already has available to them,” Fraser said.

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