Weatherly police deny targeting fire company with DUI enforcement
Weatherly Police disagree with rumors that they are targeting DUI enforcement at drivers who are leaving the local fire company.
Chief Brian Markovchick said it’s not true that the department is looking out for patrons leaving the social hall of Citizens Fire Co. No. 1.
“We keep getting complaints that officers are sitting on the firehouse watching for drunks leaving. I’m tired of hearing it,” he said.
Markovchick said the latest rumors involve officers sitting in a cemetery watching for people to leave the fire company, then pulling them over.
Fire company officials weren’t available Monday night to address the rumors.
The police department reviewed reports dating back to 2015. They looked at the total number of times they reported someone driving under the influence, and how many of them were leaving the social hall.
Between 2015 to present they have charged 16 people with driving under the influence of alcohol. Out of those 16 cases, only one involved a driver who was leaving the fire company. That driver reportedly drove the wrong way down a one-way and nearly struck another vehicle.
“All the other ones, we don’t know because they weren’t anywhere near the firehouse,” said Sgt. Michael Bogart.
Bogart said of the 16 DUIs reported since 2015, the majority were people who were not from Weatherly.
Markovchick said it was odd that people thought the police were hiding out in the cemetery because there are complaints that the department doesn’t patrol enough there.
“Somebody else living across from the cemetery is complaining there’s an open drug market in the cemetery,” he said.
In other business
• Council voted to advertise a 2020 budget which would keep the property tax rate at 6.3 mills. The budget includes $5,212,511 in expenses — 1.7 percent more than 2019.
• Council approved a one-year agreement to have Citizens Fire Co. continue to serve Packer Township. The township will pay the borough $16,100 — a $2,000 increase over 2019.
• Harold Farrow asked if there was truth to rumors that the Weatherly Ambulance is merging with another ambulance. Councilwoman Theresa D’Andrea, who sits on the Weatherly Ambulance board, said she had heard no such rumors.
• The borough office will be closed Nov. 28-29 and Dec. 2 for Thanksgiving. December utility bills will be mailed out late.
• Christmas in the Park will take place on Sunday, Dec. 8 from 4-8 p.m. Christmas at the museum will take place Saturday, Nov. 30 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Faith Church will hold a free Thanksgiving dinner Sunday Nov. 24 from 5-7 p.m. at Eurana Park. Call 570-578-8005 for dinner reservations.