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Baldwin Borough Expected to Add Police Officer

The decision does not come lightly, as things got heated on Tuesday night. More funds should be coming for the borough's road program, as well.

Chalk one up for the underdogs. Actually, chalk two up.

John Conley played the role of swing voter at a special Baldwin Council meeting on Tuesday night, joining fellow Councilmen Bob Collet, Larry Brown and Ed Moeller in support of adding a full-time patrol officer to the Baldwin Borough Police Department roster.

The foursome made up an unofficial majority during the meeting—which was scheduled as part of a continued discussion regarding the borough's 2013 budget—when council members couldn't agree on whether or not to add the police officer.

Although the borough's 2013 budget hasn't been passed yet—it will have to be before 2012 is over—the trio of council President David Depretis, council Vice President Michael Stelmasczyk and council President Pro Tempore John Ferris lost, 4-3, in their unofficial vote against adding the officer for 2013.

Conley also joined the majority, 4-3, in agreeing to apply more funds to the borough's 2013 road program than what was originally budgeted. He again opposed Depretis, Stelmasczyk and Ferris, whom he had been supporting with many key votes over the past year, in doing so.

CORRECTION (Nov. 14, 1:47 p.m.): Depretis said that he never voiced unofficial votes on Tuesday for either the road program or the police officer. However, Depretis said that he would not have voted for the police officer but would have voted to give additional funds to the road program. The B-W Patch regrets the error.

Stelmasczyk was outspoken in his opposition to adding the police officer, who would start working on March 1, 2013, and would cost the borough around $58,000 that year. The vice president called the future hiring "fiscally irresponsible," citing statistics that show that some municipalities of similar population to Baldwin's—Moon, Peters and Scott townships and West Mifflin Borough—handle their responsibilities with fewer officers.

"I think we need to look at productivity (with the Baldwin police)," Stelmasczyk said. "I'm sick and tired of seeing police cars down at The Chesapeake parking lot."

To that effect, Ferris accused Baldwin police Chief Michael Scott of lying about his department's need for another officer.

"I'll tell him that to his face," Ferris said while also arguing that police Detective Anthony Cortazzo should return to patrol work.

"Have him put his uniform on, and get back out on the street," Ferris said.

But Baldwin Mayor Alexander R. Bennett Jr., a former policeman, was visibly upset by Stelmasczyk's and Ferris' comments.

Bennett, who said on Tuesday, "To run this community with less than four officers on the road (at one time) is dangerous. There is not a product produced out of a police department. It's public safety that comes out of a police department."

The mayor was agreeing with Scott's assertion at a prior council meeting that four patrol officers—not a current total of three—are needed to cover the borough's four police zones—north Baldwin, south Baldwin, the Route 51 corridor and The Residences of South Hills apartments complex.

Bob Ieraci, a north Baldwin resident and a borough municipal volunteer, also spoke at Tuesday's public budget meeting regarding the officer topic.

"This is one thing that numbers have nothing to do with," Ieraci said, disagreeing with Stelmasczyk's suggestion that the police department must do a better job of presenting hard evidence to show that it is shorthanded and to show that it is being as productive as possible.

"Baldwin has an odd shape," Ieraci said. "They (observers) just have to be around (to understand)."

Moeller took serious issue with Stelmasczyk's "fiscally irresponsible" comment.

"It gets old, when, anytime somebody doesn't agree with you, that it's 'not responsible,'" Moeller told Stelmasczyk. "I guess, maybe, what needs to happen, is we need to be a council of one, and Mike makes all the decisions.

"For you to turn around and constantly call me irresponsible because of the way I vote, I take offense to that."

Conley's support also gives Collet an addition to the borough's road program that he has been seeking. Although to the already-budgeted $750,000 for endeavors like resurfacing, he scaled that back to a $50,000 request on Tuesday in light of the police officer decision.

Nevertheless, the 2013 budget now shows $800,000 allocated for the road program, up $50,000 from 2012.

Click here for more Baldwin Borough news.

And check back with the Baldwin-Whitehall Patch on Thursday for more news from Tuesday night's Baldwin Council meetings. A regularly scheduled council meeting followed the special budget meeting.

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bd November 14, 2012 at 05:17 PM
cc - Have no fear. The DUI/traffic officer is busy doing car seat installations for everyone as part of his duty. He does not have time to do police work.
cc November 14, 2012 at 05:59 PM
bd i have to agree with you there. It is a shame how bad the borough has gotten over the last few years and i'm not even talking about the Residence of South Hills either. I'm talking about Baldwin up on Brownsville Road by Brentwood.
Robert Edward Healy, III November 14, 2012 at 06:47 PM
CORRECTION: Council President David Depretis said that he never voiced unofficial votes last night for either the road program or the police officer. However, Depretis said that he would not have voted for the police officer but would have voted to give additional funds to the road program. The B-W Patch regrets the error.
NB resident November 14, 2012 at 08:24 PM
In any event they should hire a resident, some like this guy
Marie November 14, 2012 at 09:07 PM
How much money does it cost the residents in tax dollars everything these particular DUI specialist police officers go to court with their prey?
cc November 14, 2012 at 10:43 PM
Karen, they schedule them off on the days they have to show up in court so that is time and a half for each hour they have to be court. Then if they have to go downtown, we also pick up their parking for them and pay them their travel time. So a 10 minute court appearance can cost tax payers up to 8 hours pay as they aren't always the first cases heard and might have to sit there all day.
NB resident November 15, 2012 at 12:55 AM
Cc doesn't know what he is talking about, police are given a flat rate, usually contracts allow for 3 hours at the district court and 8 hours downtown no matter how much time you spend in court, yes they pay for their parking. DUI are part of a police officers job that what they do you don't like it then don't get all drunk up at chugs and the backdraft and that other north Baldwin Dumo bar and try to drive home, if you don't want to get a DUI then drive around our borough sober, I'm glad we have safe streets to drive on and we have police who enforce the law no matter what cc thinks next time cc is in trouble he should call a crack head see if they help him with his issues BPD is a class act origination
cc November 15, 2012 at 02:12 AM
Sorry NB resident but I would never get pulled over for a DUI, as I don't drink. Baldwin is more worried about getting dui's off the road then responding to domestic calls in a timely manner. Since you know where all the out of the way bars are in Baldwin then maybe you should watch out when your driving home drunk after all Baldwin at their finest getting DUI's but let drug dealers make drug deals right up on Brownsville Road and they could care less about them, since they don't make that much money off of the small time dealers. I'm so glad that Whitehall and Baldwin Township don't work the way Baldwin Police operate.
NE12Ukid November 15, 2012 at 06:23 AM
Stopping drunk drivers IS stopping CRIME.
NE12Ukid November 15, 2012 at 06:24 AM
cc would rather we let drunk drivers go on and kill someone.
NB resident November 15, 2012 at 06:45 AM
cc if you live in Baldwin maybe you should move to Whitehall or Baldwin Twp is you like how those communities run better. Police are going to make the same amount of money whether they bust drug dealers or they bust DUI drivers. In either case the court pay is the same. If you care so much about the drug dealing on Brownsville Rd, then every time you see something going down, don't just drive by, pick up your cell phone and call it in to 911. I don't have to worry about driving home drunk from the local spots I don't frequent them, and If I did one of them is in walking distance from my residence. But don't just complain on here call it in every time you see something going down. Be a voice of concern and help out police cant be everywhere all the time, even if they are not arresting DUI drivers and they do get to hire another officer, they still can not cover the entire borough all the time
cc November 15, 2012 at 09:31 AM
NB The point is I have called Baldwin Police, when I see people selling drugs to teens yet the borough police don't want to do anything about it period. I don't like crimes especially when you got drug dealers selling to teens up on Brownsville Road. Other Boroughs and Townships are twice as big as Baldwin but they can cover their area's with the same amount of Police or less but Baldwin can't do it.
NE12Ukid November 15, 2012 at 12:32 PM
exactly how many times have you seen this drug deal "go down" in that location, and exactly how many times did you call it in? I know you've told the story three or nine times here, but how many times did it happen, and do you spend every day or night standing on Brownsville waiting to see this "action"? Second question to cc: Do you have anything positive to say about the Community where you say you chose to make your home, raise your family, have your business, sign up for Patch? If so, could you share it here, just for a change? Thank you very much for your input.
Jon Wain November 15, 2012 at 01:16 PM
sounds like baldwin boro is headed in the brentwood direction. two one time wonderful boros suffering collateral damage left behind by their councils bickering fueled by egos
cc November 15, 2012 at 01:41 PM
Ne12ukid your a joke. Yes I do have great things to say about Whitehall where I live, where we have Police that do their jobs as to busting drug dealers but we had the ones from Baldwin complaining about them busting petty drug dealers of pot, one that complained on here was the one that was busted by the police in Whitehall and he wanted our great officers to spend more time busting DUI's like Baldwin does. All drugs need taken of the streets in all communities from low time dealers to the ones that they get their drugs off of. Something Baldwin Police doesn't go after the small time dealers but other communities do.
cc November 15, 2012 at 01:42 PM
Jon have to totally agree with you there. So Glad Whitehall and Baldwin Township Police aren't like them.
cc November 15, 2012 at 01:43 PM
Yes but there is more crime then drunk drivers around.
NB resident November 16, 2012 at 04:13 AM
One of the biggest issues for the Baldwin Police is that they work on a 12 hour schedule. That schedule is the coverage problem in Baldwin Borough. If the police would go to a 8 hour 5on 2 off schedule, then they could have maximum coverage with the amount of officers they have. I wonder if that has been brought up in council meetings. However I do not believe Baldwin is anything like Brentwood. Brentwood is a disgrace to the south hills
cc November 16, 2012 at 10:12 AM
Depends on where you live in Baldwin. Over off of Baptist Road I would say not a disgrace but up by Brentwood they are.
driver November 16, 2012 at 03:27 PM
cc thinks he knows everything. IF an officer is off there is a flat rate no matter how long they are in court. They do not schedule an officer off when they have court.
driver November 16, 2012 at 03:31 PM
cc you know even less than i originally thought you did. "Brownsville up by Brentwood" is not Baldwin. The only portion of Brownsville that is in Baldwin is on the south area. And just because a publication chooses to only publicize DUi arrests doesn't mean they don't make drug arrests. Buy a scanner they make many drug arrests but they don't seem to make it in the news. Dui's seem to be the hotter topic
driver November 16, 2012 at 03:32 PM
No wonder moron (cc) you are calling the baldwin police when the crime is happening in brentwood or pittsburgh.
driver November 16, 2012 at 03:35 PM
cc you really need to brush up on your facts. the baldwin police make more arrests for drugs than the whitehall police will in ten years.
cc November 17, 2012 at 04:36 AM
driver your the moron, I happen to know where Brentwood and the City of Pittsburgh ends and what part is Baldwin. If I was in either of these two places something would be done, but we got Baldwin Police that doesn't want to do anything than but DUI's
cc November 17, 2012 at 04:40 AM
driver your another delusional person. Whitehall Police and Baldwin Township Police do more than just bust DUI's, they are two outstanding Police Forces, can't say that for Baldwin though when they can't even patrol their own district with the same amount or more officers in other communities.
NE12Ukid November 17, 2012 at 04:56 AM
driver 10:32 am on Friday, November 16, 2012 No wonder moron (cc) you are calling the baldwin police when the crime is happening in brentwood or pittsburgh. Excellent point, driver! I'd like cc to tell us exactly where on Brownsville Rd she witnessed these drug deals, it was not in Baldwin Borough! Here's a map to help you out, cc, hahahaha!!! http://www.city-data.com/city/Baldwin-Pennsylvania.html
NE12Ukid November 17, 2012 at 05:14 AM
a few of cc's recent posts: cc 4:31 am on Thursday, November 15, 2012 NB The point is I have called Baldwin Police, when I see people selling drugs to teens yet the borough police don't want to do anything about it period. I don't like crimes especially when you got drug dealers selling to teens up on Brownsville Road. cc 9:12 pm on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 Sorry NB resident but I would never get pulled over for a DUI, as I don't drink. Baldwin is more worried about getting dui's off the road then responding to domestic calls in a timely manner. Since you know where all the out of the way bars are in Baldwin then maybe you should watch out when your driving home drunk after all Baldwin at their finest getting DUI's but let drug dealers make drug deals right up on Brownsville Road ... cc 12:59 pm on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 bd i have to agree with you there. It is a shame how bad the borough has gotten over the last few years and i'm not even talking about the Residence of South Hills either. I'm talking about Baldwin up on Brownsville Road by Brentwood. ```````````````````````````````````````````````` Ok, now, cc: Please tell us all exactly where these drug deals you keep whining about happened on Brownsville Road and why you called Baldwin police when that is not Baldwin.
bd November 17, 2012 at 12:26 PM
NB resident - The scheduling issue of Baldwin Borough police officers probably would not have mattered. There are several people on council who only listen to the mayor and believe do not question the police chief. There are only one or 2 people on Baldwin's council who question things.
AllenMatthews November 18, 2012 at 09:42 PM
Lets get this clear... Bladwin only touches Brownsville one time and that is after the intersection of streets run and brownsville over by option supply and runs to curry hollow road. CC is correct about baldwin taking too long to get to any type of physical calls, they are too worried about sitting at the old chesapeake behind the construction trailors looking for speeders and DUI's. As for the drug problem on brownsville that is brentwoods and the citys zone 3 units to worry about. brentwood is never anywhere to be found, they are too worried about killing people and siting at the sunoco across from gordons watching for drunks, and the city... well they are pretty much non existant any more, cause the city budget is too poor to staff.
NE12Ukid December 07, 2012 at 08:12 PM
As for the drug problem on brownsville that is brentwoods and the citys zone 3 units to worry about>>>> You got that right, AllenMatthews

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