New Pa. law helps task forces crack down on criminal activity

By: 
Zach D'Amico
Staff Writer

Two days before Independence Day, a new Pennsylvania law went into effect which allows task forces using officers from different municipalities to no longer have to comply with a requirement that each municipally pass an ordinance authorizing participation.
City of St. Marys Chief of Police Tom Nicklas explained why there was a need for Gov. Tom Wolf to sign such a bill.
"In the past couple of months, there was a case law that came down which interfered with the ability of task forces to work between jurisdictions," he said.
Nicklas was referring to a state Supreme Court ruling in the case of Molly Hlubin out of Allegheny County.
In 2013, Hlubin was stopped in Robinson Twp. by an officer from Moon Twp. as part of a DUI enforcement program. On May 31, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Hlubin citing that the officer had no special authorization that allowed him to make the stop outside his own municipality.
So, for about a month the ruling muddied the operations of police task forces.
Wolf signed the bill to reverse the Supreme Court's interpretation.

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