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Nesquehoning restructuring police department to deal with shortage

Nesquehoning officials are beginning to look at how the borough police department can be restructured until it is back up to a full complement.

Last week, Councilwoman Rosemary Porembo, chairwoman of the public safety committee, outlined what the committee thinks needs to be done for a temporary period.

“The Nesquehoning Police Department is going through a restructure period at this time due to resignations, illness and accidents,” Porembo said.

She said that the restructuring should include the borough advertising for part-time police officers in several publications throughout the region; hiring a part-time officer to handle data entry information into the JTAC system, which must be completed for the state; and reviewing the civil service letter because the civil service letter has created a list of candidates, but those candidates have withdrawn their names, leaving the borough with zero options for additional full-time applicants.

The borough is currently down to three full-time officers and one part-time officer, but two of those full-time officers are still out on medical leave. A part-time officer submitted a letter of resignation, which wasn’t acted on last week due to council not receiving the letter from Mayor Sam Kitchko ahead of the meeting.

The public safety committee plans to meet with the outgoing, as well as the incoming mayors and the officer in charge in December to discuss how this restructuring can be done until police staffing improves.

Porembo also said that former officer Richard Neikam, who resigned from the borough’s force last month for other employment, has inquired about becoming a part-time officer on the force.

No action was taken on the matter.