The Perry Twp. police department has no chief, no one answered its phone number Thursday, and a new township trustee said residents are unhappy with multiple resignations by officers less than a week after the chief resigned.
“It’s been terrible,” new Board of Trustees member Ron Price told this news organization today. “Everybody wants an answer yesterday. Well, the process takes the process. It takes a while to do that. Nothing happens overnight.”
Price confirmed that Chief Charles Adams resigned at the trustees meeting Oct. 5 after only four months on the job.
Asked how many people were currently working in the township’s police department, Price said, “Right now, I’m not really sure. We had some fellas that have turned in some resignations. I don’t know exactly what’s going on yet.”
Other law enforcement agencies said they’ would help to some extent.
“We’ve been kind of keeping an eye on it, especially since it could affect us,” Brookville police Major Tom Simon said. “With the few officers they have and what little time they’re on the road, we obviously would respond to mutual aid calls out there to assist them until they get there or the sheriff’s office gets there.”
Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer said Chief Deputy Rob Streck worked for free in the township for several months before the sheriff helped find Adams.
Plummer said that deputies will respond to emergencies but that a long-term solution must be found.
“Unfortunately, I don’t have the resources to continue to cover Perry Twp. (full-time),” Plummer said, adding that contracted services are a possibility because it’s at least a 20-minute run from Drexel, the closest sheriff’s office to Perry Twp.
Four township police SUVs — including one Price drove himself — were outside township offices on Tuesday. Price said one will be re-purposed and another retired but that two brand-new vehicles are coming soon to up the fleet to five.
Price also said the board will hire a new police chief and more officers, no matter if the township’s 3-mill police levy passes in November.
“If we need that levy, I will fully support it,” said Price, who said he’s still studying the issue.
Simon said Brookville — a department with 13 full-timers and three part-time officers covering less than four square miles — usually provides mutual aid to Perry Twp., which covers 36 square miles.
Simon said along with the sheriff’s office, New Lebanon, Jackson Twp. and Clay Twp. also give aid depending on where a call originates.
Simon said he last met with Adams a couple weeks ago — about a week before he said Adams resigned at a Board of Trustees meeting.
“He told us what direction he wanted to go and what he was working on,” Simon said. “As far as the issues, I didn’t get into that with him.”