A pay raise
Some part-time police officers might be getting a $4 per hour pay increase in Lehighton.
Lehighton Borough Council unanimously agreed to increase the maximum amount a part-time officer can be paid from the present $14 per hour up to $16.99 per hour, effective immediately.
Not all police officers would immediately qualify for this rate. New officers would start at $16 per hour. As they get more experience, they would go to $17 per hour.
The officers in the borough the longest would get $18 per hour.
Sgt. Joseph Lawrence, the officer in charge of the police department, said it has become harder for the borough to get part-time police officers because Lehighton pays less than many other municipalities.
He said one area town pays up to $16.99 per hour.
Lawrence said part-time police are vital, noting that already this year until June 19 they've worked 600.5 hours.
Council member Scott Rehrig favored granting the rate increase.
"The risk isn't any lesser because they're part-time," he said.
He proposed that the rate be up to $17.99 per hour, but another council member suggested just rounding off the figure to $18 per hour.
Rehrig said the higher pay rate is needed for part-time officers "so we can keep people that are good and don't lose them."
In his monthly police report, Lawrence said that during May, his department received 470 calls.
There were 52 criminal offenses during the month, with 26 arrests occurring and 28 incidents cleared.
Police issued 129 traffic citations, including 90 for speeding. There were 15 traffic accidents investigated, none resulting in injury.
The police answered 11 mutual aid calls to other municipalities, and received nine mutual aid assists.