amateur photograph submitted by reader / anonymous
The Center Township Police Department has begun providing security at Cinemark Movie Theatre.
The Beaver County Sheriff’s Office stopped providing security for the company about two weeks ago, after Senior Erie County Judge John Bozza issued a temporary injunction preventing them from performing the work. The judge ruled that Sheriff David was likely in violation of a state law that prohibited Sheriffs from providing private security services to outside organizations. The ruling, which has been appealed by David, came as a result of a lawsuit filed against him by County Commissioners, after an investigative report by the Beaver Countian first revealed the extent of his activities.
While state law prohibits Sheriff’s Offices from doing private security work, such details can be performed by municipal police departments under the Pennsylvania County Code. Center Township Police Chief Barry Kramer tells the Beaver Countian that his department has now signed a contract to provide security for Cinemark.
“The entire detail is covered by a written contract between Center Township, the Center Township Police Department, and Cinemark Theatre,” said Chief Kramer. “Solicitor Dale Fouse drafted the contract at my request, and it has been signed by all parties. It clearly outlines our duties while at Cinemark, and provides a breakdown of the wages, which include an hourly rate paid to the officer at time and a half, along with workers’ comp and limited liability insurances. It comes out to $50 per hour paid by Cinemark, covering all costs to the municipality.”
A preliminary audit conducted of the Sheriff’s Office by Beaver County Controller David Rossi revealed that private security work performed by Deputies had been underbilled by Sheriff David, costing taxpayers an estimated $100,000. David had no contract with any of the organizations he was providing security for, which Rossi said exposed county taxpayers to potential liabilities.
Sheriff David pleaded his Fifth Amendment Rights against self incrimination last month at a hearing held in the lawsuit filed against him by County Commissioners.