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Berks-Lehigh Police Commission Hires Auctioneer

An auctioneer will put a value on weapons, vehicles and other equipment that belonged to the now defunct Berks-Lehigh Regional Police force, as assets are divided up.

Correction: The Berks-Lehigh Police Commission has not yet hired an auctioneer. The commission has voted to retain the services of an auctioneer.

The Berks-Lehigh Police Commission will continue to meet through the first quarter of this year to continue discussing issues including division of remaining assets and pension plans.

The Berks-Lehigh Police Department disbanded at the end of last year when Upper Macungie Township ventured on its own to form a township police department.

Last November, Maxatawny Township sued Upper Macungie concerning division of assets. However, Maxatawny solicitors later dropped the lawsuit without prejudice, according to BLPC commissioner Sam Ashmar.

Ashmar said that an auctioneer has been hired by the commission to put a value on items including weapons, vehicles and other equipment. He declined to name the auctioneer.

"We're in an unwinding period right now," Ashmar said. "I am meeting with some folks later this week and I will have a better idea regarding a timeline."

Edward Earley, chairman of the commission, said he expects the commission to continue meetings to discuss the remaining liquidation issues, probably through March.

"It's going to be an ongoing process," Earley said. "There are a plethora of details to work out and it will be awhile before they are completed."

The Berks-Lehigh Police Commission voted unanimously to dissolve the regional police department as of Dec. 31, after Upper Macungie supervisors voted to leave the Berks-Lehigh force and create its own as of Jan. 1. 

One of the biggest points of contention had been that Upper Macungie paid the lion's share of cost for the regional police force but only got a 25 percent voting interest.  

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