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Township questions the future of sobriety checkpoints in Franklin Co.

September 14, 2011|By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — When police chiefs from across Franklin County, Pa., meet this morning, they’re expected to discuss the future of sobriety checkpoints in the county.

The Washington Township (Pa.) Supervisors said Wednesday they want to keep the sobriety checkpoint program in place even if theirs is the only municipality to participate.

“We find there is merit to the program. Washington Township is not a place to drive drunk,” said Stephen Kulla, chairman of the supervisors.

Township Manager Mike Christopher said Washington Township Police Chief Barry Keller writes the grant each year on behalf of all the county departments. He said the county typically receives $10,000 to $15,000 from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.

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In a note to the supervisors, Keller wrote that grant money has been returned in recent years when only Washington Township and occasionally the Borough of Greencastle had checkpoints.

“We are returning approximately 20 percent of the awarded grant,” Keller wrote.

The supervisors said they’d prefer to continue returning unused grant money, rather than canceling the program altogether.

The matter will be discussed at a police chiefs’ meeting this morning, Christopher said.

“It’s not really meant to be a program done in one municipality,” he said.

Waynesboro Mayor Richard Starliper said he’s unsure when the Borough of Waynesboro had its last sobriety checkpoint.

The major problem is signing up officers as volunteers for the overnight duty, he said.

“If we don’t get volunteers, it goes by the wayside,” he said.

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