The police department was a major topic of discussion at the Reynoldsville Borough Council meeting held on April 21.
Two residents in the audience, Stacy Snedden and Leeann Toombs, both asked about what was being done to replace former chief Troy Bell, who left the department late last month to become the chief of police in Brockway.
“I know beautifying the town would be nice, but safety should come first,” Snedden commented.
In her comments, Toombs also expressed concern for safety in the borough with no police department and possible delays in response by the State Police.
“It’s a scary time” she said.
In response, Council President William Cebulskie said he’s noticed State Police coverage has increased since Bell left. He also said he attended the recent Sykesville Borough Council meeting to talk about a possible consolidation of police departments, and he’s waiting to meet with them further. He also said Punxsutawney and Brookville police departments have not been ruled out for a possible deal.
“We want to make sure we’re going to do things properly,” he said. “We’re working on it. It doesn’t happen overnight.”
Later on the meeting, Borough Solicitor Joe Ryan informed council that the Jefferson County Detective, Jeff Lee, has removed all the evidence dealing with the county drug task force from the borough police department evidence room. The room itself has been locked up and will remain so until the police issue has been resolved. This is to prevent someone from entering the room and tampering with evidence.
Ryan said there was an issue where the council needs to enter the room to access borough equipment. After a discussion with Detective Lee, a date will be established where county and borough representatives could enter the room to remove what needed to be removed. There would then be two sides to the area, one maintained by the county and the other by the borough.
“We want to make sure it’s completely cleaned out. I don’t want there to be any possibility of allegations made about [council] members or borough employees perhaps accessing anything that nobody should have access to but the police,” Ryan said.
That meeting will take place over the next couple of weeks.