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Letters to the Herald

Police pension fund must be prepared for future needs


Doylestown’s mayor, Ron Strouse, is right on the mark about the six-year achievements he highlighted in the Herald about the Central Bucks Regional Police Department.
I do agree that without regionalization police costs would be higher for each member’s borough if they independently provided policing for its citizens. Chief Knott who was hired by Chalfont Borough to be its top cop, was promoted to head our regional department shortly after Chalfont joined with the boroughs of Doylestown and New Britain.
Better training, equipment, and other law enforcement initiatives have been carefully thought out and implemented by the chief. But Mayor Strouse fails to describe the fly in the ointment that will add more cost pressure to Knott’s department in the future.
The six police commissioners, two representing each member borough, have always envisioned growth to the department as a necessary step to continue to effectively manage future rising costs.
This simply means adding more boroughs or townships as members. However, this vision will continue to be murky as long as two member boroughs continue to half-heartedly pursue a higher and more adequately funded police pension fund. We all owe it to our police to fully fund their pensions.
Chalfont Borough continues to be the lone wolf in trying to convince Doylestown Borough and New Britain Borough to address the police pension.

And Chalfont Borough Council walks the talk. It recently decided to include in its annual budget a fund that is earmarked to help pay its share of anticipated future costs to better fund the pension.
Mayor Strouse in his report mentions nothing like this is occurring in Doylestown or New Britain. The risk of not contributing more is that other potential partners would be irresponsible in joining our regional police knowing the pension fund is significantly underfunded.
Chalfont cannot fix the problem by itself but its borough council continues to address the issue and is now setting aside monies to soften the financial blow upon taxpayers when and if the other two partners realize a more aggressive and costly fix is in order.

John L. Abbott, Chalfont

Former Central Bucks Regional Police Commissioner