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.