The Hatboro Borough Council on Monday pulled the plug on a and review of the police department in the wake of an ongoing of a former veteran officer.
, is the subject of an ongoing Attorney General’s Office investigation. Becker has yet to be charged, but authorities have said that the
Marianne Reymer, who served as Hatboro Borough Council president through last year, said on Monday that the previous Democrat-controlled governing body initiated the study as “an outcome of all the events around Becker’s resignation.”
“The taxpayers are owed an explanation as to how things of this nature were even possible to happen,” Reymer said of the allegations surrounding Becker. “For them to discontinue the study before it’s even fully started is a huge mistake. They need to answer to the taxpayers now.”
The council voted unanimously to discontinue the study, which Ron Stern, an official with the Governor’s Center for Local Government Services, had told Patch in January was underway and expected to conclude by early summer. Councilman Vincent LaSorsa was absent Monday.
Council President John Zygmont refused to comment about why the study was cancelled, or if it had anything to do with Becker. He directed questions to Borough Manager Steven Plaugher or solicitor Christen Pionzio.
Pionzio would only say that council would “revisit it at a later time” and “there’s some delicate legal issues that I can’t get into.”
Police Chief James Gardner said he had nothing to hide with regard to Becker’s alleged misdeeds.
“I don’t care if that comes out,” Gardner said. “I want it to come out.”
Before he could say anything else, Pionzio intervened and told him to stop talking.
When the study was authorized last year, officials touted it as a necessary tool in determining if the cash-strapped borough should .
Reymer said discontinuing the study “killed” any opportunity for insight on a new structure.
“They’re cheating the taxpayers out of an explanation and they’re cheating the police out of an upgraded facility,” she said Monday night. “It’s a very short-sighted decision.”
In January, during an interview with Patch, Stern said the management study - which was being conducted by a retired police chief – would evaluate every facet of the police department, including costs for police service, how calls are handled, how patrols are conducted, the condition of equipment, personnel management, records retention and evidence retention, among other things.
“Even though we’re going to give them a lot of recommendations, we don’t focus on a lot of the good things,” Stern told Patch at the time.