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Regionalization of police forces in Fayette County topic of forum Feb. 25

2/19/2010 —
The second in a series of free public forums entitled “CSI: Fayette County” will be held Thursday, Feb. 25, from 6-8 p.m. at Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus in Swimmer Hall in the Williams Building. Penn State Fayette partnered with the Herald-Standard to present the forums that focus on topics related to local crime and law enforcement.

The forum on Feb. 25 will address the topic of regionalization of police forces in Fayette County. Discussion will cover the pros and cons of this kind of endeavor, the costs associated with regionalization, and the differences between regionalized police and state police coverage. Panelists will include State Rep. Tim Mahoney (D-South Union Township), Southwest Regional Police Chief John D. Hartman and Penn State Fayette Assistant Professor of Administration of Justice Dr. Lawrence Driscoll.

Dr. Driscoll, who has expertise in this subject area, says the topic of regionalized policing is complex and there are many issues that need to be considered in addition to cost, issues such as what style of police force is needed, what role police officers should take, and the fear level in the community.  The topic also is one that can spur debate, he explains. “Regionalization can be a politically hot topic, and the issues should be clearly understood. Anyone coming to the forum should keep an open mind, get as much information as possible, consider all options, and then make a decision.”
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