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From the Vault: News from the Wednesday, July 14, 1993, edition of the Press & Journal

Posted 7/10/19

Lower Swatara says no to Middletown police merger

At least for now, talk about a merger of the Middletown and Lower Swatara Township police departments remains just that as far as the local Board …

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From the Vault: News from the Wednesday, July 14, 1993, edition of the Press & Journal


Lower Swatara says no to Middletown police merger

At least for now, talk about a merger of the Middletown and Lower Swatara Township police departments remains just that as far as the local Board of Commissioners is concerned.

At the end of their workshop session last week, Lower Swatara commissioners agreed not to go forward with Middletown borough’s invitation to consider a consolidation of the departments.

Commissioner Lauren LeVan-Williams, chairwoman of the Public Safety Committee, told the Board that Middletown borough councilmen asked the township commissioners last April if they “would be interested in entering into a police department merge with them.”

“Council members informed this board that their police chief will be retiring next year,” she said.

LeVan-Williams offered the recommendation not to proceed with the merger.

“A police department merger is not something that can be discussed, formulated and established within a short period of time,” she explained to her fellow commissioners. “I feel the public’s opinions and feelings need to be very carefully and accurately assessed. Secondly, the police officers of the municipalities involved need to provide input.

“From what I’ve read, a merger often cuts down on the personal contact a police department is able to give to a community. Many residents that I’ve spoken with are very comfortable with our township police department.”

The commissioner added that because Middletown will need to fill the vacancy of its retiring police chief at some point next year, “I feel we should pass our desires onto them immediately. The time frame Middletown is looking at is just not conducive to the amount of work that would need to be done.”

Also during her comments, LeVan-Williams recalled that in 1984 a study was performed regarding the possible consolidation of police departments in Lower Swatara, Middletown, Royalton and Highspire.

“Also, in 1988, thought was given regarding Highspire’s desire to merge with this township,” she said.

“In my opinion, at some point in the future, there probably will be an effort to regionalize multiple municipal police departments,” she predicted. “However, I don’t foresee that occurring without thorough, extensive research, studies and statistics that will take years to conduct.”

The board agreed with the commissioner’s recommendation, although Thomas Clark, vice president of the board, said, “I hope no one misconstrues that as opposition to it.”

Frank Linn, president of the board, then instructed Dr. David Clouser, township manager, to write to Barbara Layne, president of Middletown Borough Council, about the board’s decision.

In other action, the board heard a request from the Dauphin County Department of Aging, which wants a board member to serve as a liaison to the agency so that a volunteer program for the elderly can be started in the township.

Currently, volunteers from neighboring communities are assisting the agency in parts of the township.

Linn asked board members to consider the request and report back to him.

55 boys take part in third annual Main Street Gym basketball camp

A squad of 55 boys from the Middletown area attended the third annual basketball camp held at the Main Street Gym.

Over the course of the five-day camp, June 28 through July 2, the young athletes were instructed by a staff that included Coach Charlie Bowen, camp director; Coach Bob Heusser, head coach at Middletown Area High School; Terry Martin, Dennis Moore and Barry Ulsh.

The boys were divided into three divisions. The CBA division (ages 7-8), the NCAA division (ages 9-11), and the NBA division (ages 12-14). In each, there were champions in categories including free throw shooting, one-on-one, three-on-three, and five-on-five competition.

All players were given awards, including basketballs, gym bags, hats and T-shirts. The top honor was the “Mr. Hustle” award, recognizing the youngster who showed the most hustle, enthusiasm and sportsmanship for the week.

In the CBA division, Stephen Moore was selected. NCAA’s winner was Kerry Eppinger, while in the NBA division, Bill Baker won the Mr. Hustle award.

The camp also featured two guest speakers, Joe Lindsey and Coach Pat Flannery.

Lindsey, a high school and college official, talked to the campers about the rules of the game and a player’s relationship with referees.

Flannery, head coach at Lebanon Valley College, addressed the group on the topic of basketball shooting and provided some drills. He also stressed the importance of hard work and dedication — two assets needed for success both in basketball and life.

Near the end of his lecture Flannery stressed to the boys that an athlete must also do well in academics to compliment his efforts in sports.

Other headlines

• Cash-strapped Camp Harmony Hall might close due to overspending

• Jednota Ponies take ‘World Series’ title

• High-speed pursuit ends in arrest of Oberlin man

• Lower Swatara Township board, residents inquire about group home

Hot buys

• One week only, nursery stock 35 percent off, and perennials buy one get second at half-price; 30 percent off all hanging baskets, and 20 percent off all pine bark and nuggets. Londonderry Garden Center, 2912 River Road, Middletown.

• Cocoa or Fruity Pebbles, $2.79 for a 17-ounce box. Breyers Ice Cream, $1.99 a half gallon. Steak-umms sandwich steaks, $4.99 for 32-ounce box. Minute Maid premium choice orange juice, $1.69 a half-gallon. Fox’s Market, South Union Street, Middletown.

• Customized lettering and transfers, T-shirts as low as two for $10. Impulse Graphix, 100 Brown St., Middletown.