In response to recent discussions by Trumbauersville Borough officials regarding what they feel is a lack of state police coverage in the municipality, Sergeant Edward C. Murphy and Corporal Paul S. Romanic from Dublin Barracks of the Pennsylvania State Police attended the Sept. 4 council meeting to address the matter."We've actually had a total of 77 incidents that we've responded to in the borough for the year," Murphy told council.

Of those 77 incidents, he continued, most were minor including domestic disputes, disturbances in the park and/or suspicious persons.

Only a few involved more serious crimes, such as assaults, criminal mischief, thefts, DUI arrests, and residential burglaries.

The problem in borough officials' eyes, however, is the lack of response to loiterers in the park after park hours.

Over the past year, several acts of vandalism have occurred in the park at night.

Mayor Melissa Baine, whose lives near the park, has made several calls to the police to report suspicious activity and claims response time was poor if at all.

Murphy addressed the issue directly saying, "The loitering teens? Well, if teens are loitering in the park overnight that in and of itself is not a crime."

"The issue we have," he explained, "is we don't enforce local ordinances."

"We'll respond to it, we'll check on them, and if there is any criminal activity we'll arrest them."

But, Murphy warned, "The chance of finding someone committing an act of vandalism is slim."

As for the response time, Murphy said he looked at the response times for 41 incidents in the borough.

The shortest response time, he stated, was two minutes, while the longest was 25. On average, response time for the borough ranged from 10 to 12 minutes.

Romanic, an investigator at the Dublin Barracks, was also present to address the need for police awareness of incidents no matter how small.

He said in examining the calls that originated from the borough, he found only one report of vandalism, despite officials claims that it has happened on several occasions.

"We are your state police and we welcome those calls," Romanic said.

Councilman Rich MacCauley, another official that lives close to the park and has called the police for disturbances, said part of the reason people do not call to report incidents is because if the confrontational attitude of those that answer the phone.

Dispatchers at the Dublin Barracks, MacCauley said act as though such calls from the borough are a nuisance.

"A willingness to listen would be appreciated," MacCauley said, because "people are intimidated, people are afraid to call."

Murphy, who admitted he takes his job personally, said if that is ever the case; callers should ask to speak to a supervisor.

In other news, borough council unanimously approved the appointment of a new junior councilperson.

"I would like to introduce Nicole Festa," said Baine. "Nicole has applied to be our junior councilperson not only for one year, but for two years as she is a junior this year."

A cheerleader for Quakertown Community High School, Festa participated in the borough's TRAC program this past summer.

And although she is not the first in her family to serve as junior councilperson for Trumbauersville, she hopes to leave her own mark on borough by being actively involved in council discussions.

Lauren Fitzsimons is a freelance writer for The Free Press. She can be reached attfp@berksmontnews.com.

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