As Hatboro Borough Council considers spending an estimated $2.2 million to , officials are seeking a third party assessment of plans related to police operations.
The council, during last week’s meeting, unanimously approved a resolution to request that the state’s Governor’s Center for Local Government Services conduct a police department assessment.
The effort, recommended by Hatboro Police Chief James Gardner, was last carried out in the 1980s, he said. Suggested improvements from that study led to building renovations.
“It’s not bad every once in a while to have a third party come in and take a look at things,” Gardner said.
Before the council commits to spending more than $2 million on a new building project, Gardner said he thought it wise to request the no-cost assessment.
“We’re looking at a very large expenditure,” Gardner told the council. “It may be an appropriate time to consider such an assessment.”
Borough Manager Steven Plaugher said the assessment is just another tool for officials in properly constructing a new police station to ensure that space isn't wasted, staffing is adequate and officers have enough room to work.
"There's always room for improvement," Plaugher said. "It's kind of like a third set of eyes."
Borough solicitor Michael Savona said a retired police chief paid by the state would visit the department and take a look at existing and future needs in terms of the building itself, staffing and other related issues.
“It’s a critical assessment, but it’s done in a constructive way,” Savona said.
Officials said the recommendations that come from the state assessment would be just that – suggestions – and would not be required.
Gardner said the assessment is a step in the right direction for accreditation, something he hopes to put in place in the future. Similar to hospital accreditation, police departments that are accredited must meet certain standards for facility operations, he said.
“It’s a stamp of approval,” Gardner said.