Cell phone setup
Ron Gower/TIMES NEWS Officers of the Carbon County Police Chiefs Association discuss the possible formation of a Civilian Police Academy in the county. The academy likely will be held this fall. The officers include, from left, Lehighton Chief of Police Matthew Bender, treasurer; Mahoning Chief Kenneth J. Barnes, secretary; and Summit Hill Chief Joseph Fittos, vice president. Not shown is Kidder Township Chief of Police Joseph Protasiewicz, association president.
It happens during every snowstorm in many municipalities.
People wonder if a snow emergency has been declared, if they must adhere to specific parking rules, or if they must remove their vehicles off certain streets.
Lehighton Chief of Police Matt Bender said this was one of the topics discussed at a meeting of the Carbon County Police Chiefs Association recently.
He said police chiefs indicated they would like to see a system implemented whereby residents are notified via cell phone of such things as snow emergencies and even other pertinent information.
Bender, treasurer of the association, said there are some municipalities that already have such a setup. Michelle Ebbert, a member of Lehighton Borough Council, said some school districts have a phone notification system letting parents know when classes are canceled or delayed because of weather.
Lehighton borough manager John C. Wagner said cost estimates for such a setup are being explored. He said he is working with the Lehighton Water Authority on getting cost estimates because the water authority could use the notification method for letting people know about such things as boil advisories or broken mains.
Also at the Police Chiefs Association meeting, held at the Carbon County Emergency Management offices, it was noted that a unique program is being explored.
Mahoning Township Chief of Police Kenneth J. Barnes, who is secretary of the association, said the group is looking into establishing a "Civilian Police Academy" in Carbon County. It would be a 10-week course, one night a week.
During the course of the program, there would be a different presentation each week on various overviews of law enforcement.
"We're probably looking at September," Barnes said regarding implementing the program.
He said more information on the Civilian Police Academy will be announced as plans progress.
Barnes said the purpose for forming the Police Chiefs Association is "to secure a closer official and personal relationship among police officials throughout Carbon County and Pennsylvania, to secure unity of action in police matters, to elevate the standards of police officers through training, the advancement and perfection of a uniform police system, and the advancement along all lines pertaining to the prevention and detection of crime."
He added, "Beginning in 2010 the Carbon County Police Chiefs Association will be a more viable and proactive organization."
Chief Joseph Protasiewicz of Kidder Township is president of the association. Chief Joseph Fittos of Summit Hill is vice president.