Brockway (WQOW) - An area police department is shutting its doors. The Brockway Police Department in Jackson County closed Friday, a decision made by the town board. But that has one business owner concerned.
"We can't afford it anymore. We don't have the funds," says Norman Stoker, the Brockway Town Chair.
Friday was the Brockway Police Department's last day.
"While the gasoline has gone up from two dollars to four dollars, and a lot of the utilities have gone up, so you just start digging into more of your reserves," says Stoker.
The town board made the decision at the end of March to close the two person department.
"I don't think it's a very good idea," says Pam Cullen, the owner of Jack's or Better and the Crossroads Store.
But one business owner is concerned, because there won't be a local police force right in town.
"Several years ago, before Brockway Police force was put in, we were robbed at the store. I called the Sheriff's Department. They arrived about an hour and half later, because they were on the other side of the county," Cullen says.
Pam says it gives her peace of mind, knowing there are officers right in town. But the town chair says the 188-thousand dollars they paid a year for the department was becoming too expensive.
"We're the only township I know that does have our own police protection in our county," says Stoker.
"And as far as the town itself, how many towns have a casino, a prison, several hotels, lots of businesses, there's just not enough protection," says Cullen. "I think we are going to be in jeopardy. And I think over this next year or two, we're going to find this out.
But the town board chair says the closure may not be a permanent one.
"We're hoping we can get an officer back on, especially probably to serve our ordinances and probably patrol some at a lesser cost," Stoker says.
The Jackson County Sheriff's Department will now provide coverage for the town. The board will meet soon to decide what to do with the two squad cars the town has.
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