Dear Editor:

I would like to take this opportunity to provide some information to the citizens of Tamaqua concerning an upcoming meeting about establishing a regional police force. At the Feb. 1 meeting of Tamaqua Borough Council, Tamaqua Mayor Chris Morrison noted there will be a meeting of the regionalization study force on Feb. 10. I want the public to be aware that the regionalization meeting is part of a long term study that began last year, not a response to recent criminal activity.

While this comes at a time when Tamaqua is experiencing a wave of serious criminal activity, this study has been an ongoing process that began in 2010. It includes the Boroughs of Tamaqua and Coaldale, as well as Schuylkill, Walker and West Penn Townships. Mayor Morrison has been spearheading the effort, visiting each of the interested communities throughout last year. To the best of my knowledge, this meeting is to discuss the progress made to date, not because of any dissatisfaction with the services provided by the Tamaqua Police Department. I want to assure the public that the Tamaqua Police Department has been and will continue to take the necessary action to do whatever we can to prevent such crime from continuing.

While I have personal opinions concerning police regionalization, I believe the study is best served by my staying out of the process so our community leaders cam make that judgment without any influence from me. I'm not that far from retirement, so any changes will most likely not affect me personally. If and when council makes a decision regarding the future leadership of this department, I will do my best to insure a smooth transition.

Thank You,

Dave Mattson

Tamaqua Chief of Police