LIMERICK — Township police are bringing their prisoners to Montgomery County Correctional Facility in Lower Providence rather than the Pottstown Police Station to save time and money, according to Chief Bill Albany.
“Traditionally, when we took someone into custody, because we are a smaller agency, we don’t have lock-up faciltiies here,” Albany said at a Limerick Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday night. “We have traditionally used the Pottstown Borough for lock-up services. Pottstown charged $100 per prisoner to house.”
Limerick Police have taken prisoners to the county facility since November, according to Albany. Taking those in custody to Lower Providence is a better alternative because it is a shorter distance and has the staffing to do video arraignments right away, according to Albany. As such, officers spend less of their shift transporting one individual around following an arrest.
“They would drop the prisoner off, come back to the station, do the criminal complaint, come back to Pottstown, wait for the judge to come online, then transport the prisoner to the prison,” Albany said. “You figure the hourly rate of the officer and at least another hour (spent traveling), (we save) at least $5,000 a year just in transporting.”
Limerick officers now drop arrestees off in Lower Providence, come back to the station, file the complaints and send them down to Lower Providence where the rest is handled. There is also no charge for processing prisoners there, Albany said.
In 2012, the most recent year for data, Albany said they paid $12,200 to house prisoners in Pottstown.
Albany figures the department will save $17,000 per year following this new protocol.
The change occurred once a LiveScan machine, which is a part of the procedure for processing arrests, was moved to an “annex” of the county prison.
“Through a good relationship with the warden, we were able to leverage access to that,” Albany said.