Borough discusses hiring new officer

Zach Glenn

The Greencastle Police Department is asking to hire an additional full-time police officer which would cost around $76,000. Now the borough is staring down a roughly $202,000 hole in the budget that needs to be filled and one of the fastest ways there would be to nix hiring a new officer.

Two budgets will be presented at Monday night's council meeting. The first will be balanced around not bringing on another officer and filling the difference with cuts to avoid raising taxes. The second budget will move forward hiring another officer, but will balance the budget with cuts as well as a likely tax increase.

"I don't think you can balance the budget with no tax increase and a new officer," said Ken Womack, who was acting borough manager until Eden Ratliff came on board this week.

Womack said the department wants to make sure it can always have two officers on duty at once.

The department currently has four full-time officers supplemented by a part-time roster. One concern raised at Wednesday's budget committee meeting is that the police department is not fully using its allotment of part-time police hours.

Moving forward with the budget the borough would like to have facts and figures about why the police department is looking for another officer. The budget committee members said that they would like the issue presented in front of the entire council instead of the committee making a recommendation on whether to add an officer.

"As of Nov. 2, we have too many questions to answer for a $76,000 problem," said Ratliff.

Greencastle Borough Council will meet at 7 p.m. Monday in borough hall.