State Police Barracks Is Closing Soon The Trevose Barracks Will Shut Down Next Month. Its 20 Troopers Will Move To The Dublin Barracks.

Posted: December 15, 1994

The Trevose Barracks of the Pennsylvania State Police will close by mid- January because of a decline in activity, particularly investigation of serious crimes by State Police in Lower Bucks County, officials said yesterday.

The announcement triggered criticism from community leaders, with complaints that the 20 troopers now headquartered at the Bensalem location will be transferred to the Dublin Barracks, an hour away, north of Doylestown. Several state legislators have vowed to try to block the move.

State Police Capt. Robert Werts, commander of Troop M, Bethlehem, under whose jurisdiction the Trevose Barracks falls, said the planned closing was irreversible and had been in the works for nearly a year.

The consolidation of the Trevose and Dublin Barracks will free more troopers for patrol duty in Lower Bucks, Werts said.

"It's not like when a bell rings, we will send somebody from Dublin to answer a call down there," Werts said, explaining that state police work in patrol zones and that the Lower Bucks zones will be covered at all times.

Sen.-elect Tommy Tomlinson of Bensalem, a state representative, was irate over the planned closing and has joined with state Reps. Matthew Wright and Tony Melio in trying to block the closing.

The three legislators have written to Col. Glenn Walp, the state police commissioner, urging him to delay the move until after Gov.-elect Tom Ridge takes office.

"It's a most inopportune time for the closing to occur," Tomlinson said.

Despite Werts' comment, Tomlinson said that he did not feel the closing was ''a done deal" and that he would work to prevent it.

Tomlinson said state police play a vital role in Lower Bucks, patrolling I-95 from Philadelphia to the Delaware River in New Jersey, along with Langhorne, Penndel and Hulmeville Boroughs, as well as state institutions and facilities.

Charles Tocci, state police public information officer, said the consolidation would free troopers from clerical duties.

Tocci said the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation's desire to turn the Trevose barracks into a regional photo licensing center was also a factor in the decision.

But people such as Ira Romberger 3d, president of the Hulmeville Borough Council, and Cathy Wolzniuk, a Bensalem community activist, are not at all interested in the licensing center. They want the State Police, headquartered in Lower Bucks for more than 50 years, to stay.

Romberger, a resident of Hulmeville for 33 years, said he was "very much opposed to the move," although he admitted not knowing what the overall effect will be.

"We don't want them to leave," Romberger said. "Though they say they will remain on patrol here, it's not like having their headquarters right around the corner."

Wolzniuk, who headed a successful effort to keep a center for youthful sex offenders out of Bensalem, said she "strongly opposes" the move.

"Something is rotten here. We don't need the state police to move. We need more in the area," Wolzniuk added.

Langhorne Borough Police Chief Jim McAndrew, a former state trooper, called the closing "a dumb move."

"I can't tell you how many times people would come into the barracks to talk to me when I was a trooper," he said. "What are they supposed to do now? Drive to Dublin? Even a phone call is a toll call!"

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