The study is a good idea

IRST OF ALL, we commend the public officials of Elizabeth, Elizabeth Township , Forward Township and West Elizabeth for considering what the state Department of Community and Economic Development has to say about the future of police departments in their area. It makes sense to have the feasibility study, if for no other reason than to eliminate the possibility that the four municipalities should go in on a merged police department. It also falls in line with what Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato has suggested, that police and other services could be offered on a regional basis, at the very least within the boundaries of the county’s 43 school districts. West Elizabeth is in the West Jefferson Hills district but is patrolled by officers from Elizabeth. Having said all that, while we understand that this is a hot-button item, as recent events in Versailles, North


Versailles Township and Dravosburg illustrate, we wonder if it would not have been better to have had an open discourse, rather than to announce a meeting then close it to public or media scrutiny. We’re not sure the four municipalities really are under a “gag order” during the 30 days during which they will review it. We also think what Shakespeare said about “protesting too much” could apply to state Rep. David Levdansky, D-Forward Township , who said “that report is not subject to the (new state) Right to Know Law. It’s a work product. And I don’t own it. The individuals in the municipality, they don’t have ownership of it. It’s a preliminary study (and) is a work product under the control of (DCED).” Still, we appreciate the caution local leaders are taking and wish them well in their review. We’ll presume it is a matter of caution, and not of fear of what local residents may think.

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