The Braddock Hills Police Department is committed to excellence by providing high quality service to our community in a professional and courteous manner, which entail good ethics, trust, integrity, leadership and compassion. We recognize and respond to all emergencies with sincerity to the needs of those who are concerned for their safety, welfare or are temporarily unable to provide for themselves.
The Braddock Hills Police Department is a fully staffed, 24 hour service consisting of 18 officers, both full and part-time. The department is overseen by the mayor and Chief of Police, with the assistance of a Sergeant and Corporal who provide patrol, investigations, traffic enforcement as well as enforcement of borough ordinances.
Jack Brown, Mayor
Dean Helinski, Chief of Police
STATEMENT FROM COUNCIL PRESIDENT TOM EVANS DURING JUNE 11, 2019 MEETING
RE: Intergovernmental Cooperation Agreement with Borough of Swissvale
There has been discussion on social media regarding the Borough’s Police Department and possibility of the Borough contracting services with the Borough of Swissvale. In an effort to clarify the situation and dispel internet and social media rumors and misconceptions about this matter, the following is what has occurred to date:
* Yes, Borough Officials did meet with Swissvale elected officials, the borough manager and police chief to discuss the possibility of contracted weekend services – not full-time 24/7 police services.
* Swissvale Borough did approve entering into a contract for weekend services. Their council meeting was held prior to ours. However, we are not contractually obligated until an ordinance has been advertised and adopted by our council permitting us to contract for the weekend services.
* This purpose of this meeting tonight is to discuss the agreement and present it to the public for comment.We will not be voting to enter into agreement at tonight’s meeting.
* We will be voting tonight to advertise - not adopt- an ordinance to enter into agreement with Swissvale Borough at tonight’s meeting.
* These services will not cost any additional money to the borough. Swissvale has agreed to provide services for our budgeted amount without additional fees. Our taxes will not increase for their services.
This decision was not taken lightly and is very much needed at this time. Please know that this was not a financial issue, but a lack of manpower issue. Our police are having a difficult time filling shifts over the weekends, which has resulted in either overtime or the chief and lieutenant coming in for coverage. We have lost several part-time officers these past few months to full-time positions and we are having a difficult time replacing them.
As you may have seen in the news, there is shortage of police officers nationwide. We have been to meetings regarding police regionalization that is being encouraged by State and County officials due to this shortage. The shortage has just begun to affect our department and we have to take action to avoid disruption of service.
We are not committing to regionalization or a full merger at this time. This agreement is for weekend services only. Swissvale will patrol and answer calls for our borough from 6:00 a.m. Saturday to 6:00 a.m. Monday. Please note that there is a clause that we can terminate this agreement if circumstances change and we are able to fill these shifts in the future. Also, the chief or lieutenant will be available on weekends to assist Swissvale if the situation is needed.
It is our duty as elected officials to ensure the safety of our citizens by providing adequate police services. In light of the difficulties filling shifts on the weekend, it has led us to considering contracting out for those services. Swissvale officials have been welcoming and eager to assist us and we are grateful that they have been willing to provide us services. We ask that our residents be understanding and please contact our borough office directly with your questions or concerns.
NOTE: Next meeting to adopt Ordinance to enter into agreement is Tuesday, June 25, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. at the Municipal Building, 1300 Brinton Road.
Chief Helinski Option 3
Officer on Duty Option 4