BROCKWAY — Pending the solicitor’s review, the Brockway Borough Council passed a countywide mutual aid agreement for police support.
The police department already has agreements with other communities, but instead of having several, the chiefs of police in communities in Jefferson County thought it would be a good idea to have one agreement for the whole county.
“This is mostly designed around additional assistance to other departments,” Brockway Police Chief Terry Young explained to the borough council. “For example, if Punxsutawney came here to help with the Fourth of July, this gives us paperwork to make their involvement official.”
According to Pennsylvania law, communities with mutual aid agreements can go help out if needed, but it remains a judgement call with the police chief of each community if they can send help.
“If a department needs assistance, they put the call out, and the departments will say yes or no,” Young said. “It’s more of a blanket ‘Who can respond?’ If there’s an active shooter, chances are that everyone’s responding there anyway.”
Young assured the council that this agreement does not mean that, if a call should go out, the officers in Brockway are required to drop everything and race out to help. Similar agreements are already in place, so nothing will change as far as police coverage.
“It covers Fourth of July, Groundhog Day, any type of mutual aid or help,” Young said. “Thanks to the law of Pennsylvania and this agreement, you can do citations and everything else while you are assisting.”
Brockway Borough Solicitor Edward Ferraro is going over the agreement to make sure it is in line with existing agreements. The council agreed to it should it pass Ferraro’s inspection.