Cranberry plans for police dept. of future Steady growth puts focus on public safety

September 11, 2019 Cranberry Local News

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CRANBERRY TWP — As the township continues to grow, officials are already looking ahead at how the police department will change alongside it — including the addition of more officers.

During a meeting of township supervisors Thursday, the board approved Bartell & Bartell to begin a two-phase strategic planning effort for the police department. The resolution notes the plan should not cost more than $35,000.

According to township Manager Jerry Andree, growth in Cranberry is expected to continue at a rapid rate, with its population estimated to reach 50,000 by 2030. He pointed out the increase brings with it new challenges, likely requiring more officers.

The department is authorized to employ 32 officers, and Andree said that number will likely increase to 50.

“We're always trying to be proactive instead of reacting to issues,” he said.

The plan will examine major areas within the department, including recruitment, career development and training, and how growth is expected to impact the department as a whole. Andree said all officers will be involved in the process, adding that projected completion for the first phase is within the next six months.

Following that phase, recommendations will be made to supervisors, and a determination of action will be made in the second phase.

Andree noted a similar plan was undertaken a few years ago with the Cranberry Township Volunteer Fire Company and Cranberry Township EMS. Dick Hadley, supervisor chairman, said he looks forward to seeing the results.

“I think this is a great step forward,” he said.

Also Thursday, the board voted to extend the current agreement between the township and the fire department until Jan. 31, 2020.

Andree said the current agreement was set to expire at the end of September, but conversations regarding the details of a new deal are ongoing. He said a final draft of the new agreement will be presented in January.

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J.W.  Johnson Jr.

J.W. Johnson Jr.

J.W. Johnson Jr. is the bureau chief of the Cranberry Eagle. Johnson is a native of Bellaire, Ohio, and graduated from Bellaire High School in 2004. He is a 2009 graduate of Ohio University in Athens with a bachelor of specialized studies degree in English and journalism. While there, he served as a reporter and editor at The Post, the university’s student-run, independent newspaper. In 2009, he was hired as a reporter for The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register in Wheeling, W.Va. Over the course of eight years, he also served as Marshall County bureau chief, city editor and news editor. He also won two first place West Virginia Press Association Awards for his reporting and design work. He and his wife, Maureen, live in Carnegie.