West Easton gets $20K for new police department expected to hit the streets soon

West Easton to start part-time police department

A Northampton County Sheriff's Department SUV sold to West Easton is parked Feb. 19, 2019, outside the new borough police department building at 301 Sixth St.Kurt Bresswein | For lehighvalleylive.com

West Easton is getting $20,000 in help from Northampton County for the borough’s new police department.

Borough Mayor Dan DePaul and county officials announced the HUD $20,000 grant on Wednesday.

The county grant joins about $12,500 given to the new department by Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli’s office.

“We need supplies, including uniforms for police officers, weapons, all kinds of office equipment," DePaul said. “We also need to fix one of the cars we got from Palmer Township.”

Palmer Township donated two police SUVs, and Northampton County sold a sheriff’s department SUV to the borough, officials said in February in announcing plans to start up the new West Easton Police Department.

DePaul said he Wednesday thinks the department will be up and running this fall.

The department will operate out of 301 Sixth St. in West Easton, the former borough hall that was most recently used for storage. Work on the building is almost completed, the mayor said.

Plans are to hire four-part time officers, in addition to the new chief.

“We have quite a few applications for (the) part-time police officers,” DePaul said.

The borough is budgeting $300,000 for the new department, half of which was already dedicated for police department a few years ago and will be carried over to be used, the mayor said.

“We’re working on the budget for next year now,” DePaul added.

The borough previously said police consultant Robert J. Mehady would be sworn-in by a Northampton County judge to lead the department. Mehady retired as sergeant from the Pennsylvania State Police and spent most of his 25-year career out of the Belfast barracks.

State police have patrolled West Easton since 2013, following contracts for police coverage with Wilson Borough and Easton dating to 1966.

Sarah Cassi may be reached at scassi@lehighvalleylive.com. Follow her on Twitter @SarahCassi. Find lehighvalleylive.com on Facebook.