Why PA Needs a Shared Service Bill

The difficulty that Nazareth is having trying to contract for police services from neighboring townships is a good example of why PA needs a shared service bill like the one that recently passed the New Jersey Senate. Even municipalities who want to share services face unnecessary political difficulty getting their neighboring municipalities to agree. Nazareth is asking for way too much for its current officers here, but if the state was dangling aid over these towns’ heads (and threatening to withdraw state money), Nazareth would lower its ask and Lower Nazareth Township would have an incentive to deal. If more service sharing is going to happen, the state needs to use all the leverage it has to push municipalities to do it.


  1. Nope. Not a chance. Extortion is not a solution to anything.

    • Jon Geeting says:

      How is that “extortion”? Municipalities are creatures of state law. The state creates the municipal taxing powers. It gives money to municipalities in numerous ways. There is a direct state interest in improving the efficiency of municipal services so that it can reduce transfers to municipalities.

  2. I’ll use Emmaus as an example – Emmaus built its own police force. What you propose is to take the asset away with no compensation, and in fact threaten Emmaus with retaliation if they don’t comply. And in the end you’ll make Emmaus residents less safe.

    Your communistic side is showing again.

    And you admitted Nazareth was trying to be piggish, then blaming Lower Nazareth anyway.

    • Jon Geeting says:

      Again, the state has an interest in municipal services being provided cheaply and more efficiently. If municipalities are getting state money they should have to spend in the most efficient possible way. And since municipalities are state creations, the state has every right to tell them to reorganize their service provision.

      This is not taking the asset away, it’s adding more payers and making the service cheaper per person. There’s an economy of scale. There’s absolutely no reason to believe this would make anyone less safe.

      The problem in Nazareth is that Lower Nazo has no particular reason to want to deal. Two parties who both had an incentive to come to an agreement could get to Yes, but Lower Nazo doesn’t care. If Lower Nazo made a counteroffer that was less generous, and both municipalities were feeling financial pressure to cut a deal, Nazareth would likely accept. As it stands, neither party has much incentive to negotiate beyond the opening bids.

  3. There’s every reason to believe it would make people less safe. When a force is covering a larger area, response times suffer. The only way to avoid it is by not changing patrols in the home community (like Emmaus), but then the economics won’t work for the township that wants to glom onto another force.

  4. I have – they’re great for cities, they’re not nearly as applicable in suburban and rural areas.

    It’s cute how you think studies done by academics are the be all-end all of analysis. You might want to come out of your parent’s basement and spend some time in the real world, and actually talk to people. Sunlight and fresh air will do you a world of good.


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