Shade Township Supervisors voted 2-0 Thursday afternoon to officially disband the Shade Township Police Department, with one of the supervisors choosing not to vote.
Last September, officials voted to defund the department, which is made up of three part-time officers.
The Fraternal Order of Police for Bedford and Somerset counties attended Thursday’s meeting to protest the decision.
Shade Township officials said a declining tax base and the economic downturn have made it difficult for the township to provide additional services to residents.
“Our township, and more important, our residents, have experienced economic hardship over the past year,” Shade Township officials wrote in a press release. “Shade believes it is in the best interests of the community to make ends meet through reducing expenses rather than raising municipal taxes.”
They said, in 2020, Shade Township received about $117,000 in revenue generated by its current tax mileage, which is currently 3 mils, and the township’s part-time police force expenditures made up 60% of the total revenue generated by the tax mileage.
Officials said the township had been receiving revenue since 2014 from an agreement with Central City Borough, but that contract was terminated in Aug. 2020.
Shade Township furloughed its police officers in Sept. in response to the contract’s termination and have relied on state police since then, officials say.
They added that, Shade Township also used to get tipping fees revenue from a local landfill that has since closed.
With no local police officers, the township, as well as Central City Borough, will now have to rely on state police.