We got some positive news this week as Lower Nazareth Township, Northampton County, decided to remain with the Colonial Regional Police Department instead of withdrawing in favor of “free” state police coverage.

The Borough of Bath said earlier this year that it plans to withdraw from that regional force, and Nazareth’s exit could have put the department out of business. Instead, Nazareth and Hanover Township will work out a new funding agreement to accommodate the absence of Bath.

As readers of this newsletter know, “free” State Police coverage isn’t really free. It requires taxpayers who have a local police presence to pay twice, and puts pressure on the Motor License Fund as well as the General Fund to make up the difference.

What seemed to sway Nazareth residents and officials was the realization that the coverage could suffer, as other municipalities have discovered. The State Police do not enforce local ordinances, and response times can be lengthy at busy periods.

Perhaps they were also aware of the possibility that the General Assembly may eventually address this public policy inequity, and that communities could wind up paying more than they want for coverage that’s not nearly as good.

Transportation Issue Update