The Decatur Township Police Department utulizes Mutual Aid Agreements with several other municipalities in an attempt to maximize police protection services to everyone involved. We have worked with Houtzdale Regional Police effectively for several years now under the agreement.
We also have Mutual Aid agreements with Morris and Cooper Townships, but do not work as actively with those municipalities. Instead we normally provide backup services to the Morris-Cooper Regional Police, but not support services.
The Mutual Aid Agreements work like this; all the officers in the participating departments are 'sworn in' as active police officers in the participating muncicpalities. Anytime one of the municipality's Police Departments finds itself in need of assistance, the others go to the aid of the department in need. (This action is covered by state law also.) The participating departments also provide support police services when, for whatever reason, one of the municipalities finds itself in need of police services and the primary department is busy, or otherwise unavailable. Under those circumstances one of the other departments will respond to the call if the requested department is not currently busy on a call or detail within it's primary jurisdiction.
As an example, suppose that a resident of Decatur Township noticed someone attempting to break into a business or residence and called 911. At that time if the Decatur Township Police were busy on another call which they could not immediatley break away from, (say a serious traffic accident which was blocking the roadway and/or involved serious injuries), then one of the other departments would be asked to respond to the attempted burglary. In this manner persons and property are afforded the quickest response to an emergency call, thereby giving everyone involved the best protection and service level possible under the existing conditions.
It is our goal to provide everyone with the best possible police service available. We are somewhat hampered by the lack of manpower available, however experience has shown Mutual Aid Agreements and cooperation among the municipalities can help offset the lack of manpower and provide the best service at the most reasonable cost. We will continue to strive to provide the best service possible.
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