Snyder Township continues to seek policing for area around Tyrone schools

Snyder Township Supervisor Buddy Daughenbaugh went before Tyrone Borough Council on Monday looking for assistance in patrolling the area around the Tyrone Area schools.
The township does not maintain its own force and has been looking at a solution for parking and jurisdictional issues regarding the area. Additional concerns include students littering and loitering along the roadway.
At a township meeting in February, the school district’s Cathy Peachey was on hand to discuss the issues on Hospital Road and Clay Avenue.
A previous Herald article said the parties were working together to see if school police officer, Bub Dick, has jurisdiction off of school property, but inside of the school zone, from Hospital Drive to the tennis courts along Clay Avenue.
At the February Snyder Township meeting, Peachey said she planned to meet with the district attorney and the district magistrate to see if school zone traffic violations and other citations issued by the district officer would be upheld in court.
At Monday’s Tyrone Borough Council meeting, Daughenbaugh explained the concerns and asked if the borough would be able to provide a police officer to patrol the area for about an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon based on the arrival and departing times of students from the schools. The area in question is in Snyder Township and not within Tyrone Borough lines.
Daughenbaugh told council about the jurisdictional issues and said he had been advised of a case where a school district officer made an arrest off of school property in the Pittsburgh area. In that case, Daughenbaugh said the charges did not hold up in court.
Daughenbaugh had discussed the issues with Tyrone Police Chief Joe Beachem prior to Monday’s meeting. Beachem advised council the borough did not have the manpower available to provide an officer during the times requested and there were also other logistical issues regarding the use of staff.
Currently, state police respond to the area, but only when summoned or as part of regular patrols that might not coincide with the morning and afternoon time periods.
After several questions to Daughenbaugh and comments from various council members, a suggestion was made that the township might consider hiring its own part-time officer. Tyrone also agreed to provide a council member representative to attend future meetings Daughenbaugh plans to hold with others involved in the issue.
Tyrone Superintendent Dr. William N. Miller spoke to The Daily Herald about the school zone issues on Tuesday.
“We are appreciative of the Snyder Township supervisors, particularly Buddy Daughenbaugh, for picking this up and carrying the ball relative to the issue of traffic control on Hospital Road,” said Miller. “This has been an issue for us for the last five or six years and we haven’t been able to get any movement regarding (it) for that period of time.
“The district is concerned about the potential of injury and harm for students loitering on Hospital Road,” said Miller. “I know our attorneys, the Snyder Township attorneys and the district attorney have been researching (jurisdictional issues). Our initial preference would be for our own school police to monitor that area.”
Miller said the district officer can connect with the students since he would be aware of who they are.
“It’s a very economical way to handle it, but whether that can be done legally is the question,” said Miller.
“This has got to be monitored on a regular basis, there has to be a connection of a fine or a penalty for students who loiter there so they understand there is a penalty. Legally, we only have jurisdiction on our school property,” said Miller.
Miller said the district would assume costs on the patrolling of the area but the district wants a say in how that’s determined and the amount of time spent so there is some limit in terms of the costs.
“Paying our officer to do that would just be a change in a schedule versus a borough or other officer,” said Miller.