Palmerton hopes the creation of a bike patrol will help curtail mischief in its community

On a 6-0 vote, with one abstention, Borough Council on Thursday approved the request of the Palmerton Police Department to establish the patrol.

After the meeting, council President Terry Costenbader said he abstained from the vote because "I didn't feel I was prepared to make that decision."

Councilman Michael Ballard said the idea was originated by the police department.

"The police department would like to start a bike patrol in our community," Ballard said. "They've worked all the numbers out for equipment and training."

Ballard said the cost would be about $3,000 "to start out."

Borough Manager Rodger Danielson noted that "budget wise, they've offered to relinquish part of their uniform allowance. We always try to budget a certain amount for things that come up."

In addition, Ballard said there is about $1,200 remaining in the borough's training budget fund.

"They've covered all their bases," Ballard said. "I'm all for it."

Councilwoman Holly Sell added "I think it would really be good during school hours."

"It gets so congested between S.S. Palmer [Elementary] and Parkside [Education Center]," Sell said. "I think that would be great for them to be patrolling there."

Council's vote came after Mayor Chris Olivia announced that benches in the borough park were being scraped by youngsters on bicycles.

"Benches are being scuffed by bicycles," Olivia said. "Kids should not be riding bikes on park benches."

Olivia asked anyone who witnesses such behavior to contact the police department at (610) 826-4055.