Hellertown and Lower Saucon Township elected officials recently signaled that they are open to studying the idea of a unified Saucon Valley regional police department.
In separate votes late last month, both Hellertown Borough Council and Lower Saucon Township Council approved sending a letter of intent to participate in the study to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).
Lower Saucon Council voted unanimously to approve the letter of intent.
Hellertown Borough Council approved sending the letter by a vote of 6-1, with Councilwoman Stephanie Kovacs opposing the motion.
At Lower Saucon Township Council's July 20 meeting, Township Manager Jack Cahalan said he had contacted DCED local government policy specialist Ron Stern regarding funding for a police merger study.
"He indicated there was funding available and he urged us to submit the letter of intent," Cahalan told council members.
Before voting on the matter, Council Vice President Tom Maxfield thanked Hellertown Borough Council "for taking the initiative to reopen (the study)."
"We'll wait to see if we are found eligible for the technical assistance," Cahalan said.
A study of a police department merger between Lower Saucon and Hellertown that was undertaken more than five years ago was halted before it was completed.
In the 1990s, according to an article published in the Morning Call, a merger was under twice under consideration but was declined by both councils.