State Police Consolidate Philipsburg, Rockview Stations at New Benner Township Barracks
It’s now official. State police in Centre County are now operating out of one headquarters.
On Tuesday, the long-talked-about consolidation of the Philipsburg and Rockview stations took place, effectively closing the barracks in Philipsburg and Milesburg. The new consolidated barracks is located at 330 Penn Tech Drive in Benner Township.
Joel Watson, Philipsburg’s borough manager, said he isn’t too concerned about the merger, stating that technology has progressed to the point where Pennsylvania troopers can basically work right out of their cruisers.
“They have been using zone coverage for quite some time now,” said Watson. “If there is a call, troopers are notified immediately in their vehicles and they can respond from wherever they are at. The only real issue is when there is a domestic incident, which requires at least two troopers to respond. In some cases, the first responding trooper to the scene must wait until a second trooper arrives. That may cause some issues.”
Watson said the idea to consolidate the barracks came in January of 2015. He said Centre County was one of the few counties in the state that operated with multiple barracks.
“Pennsylvania has been centralizing its state police in other counties for quite some time,” he said. “It was finally our turn.”
Although the troopers from the Philipsburg barracks now have a new home base, Watson said the old facility, located along the Port Matilda Highway, will continue to staff state personnel, but noted that no state police activity will occur there.
“I think we’re going to be all right,” said Watson. “We’re still going to have the same coverage and the same patrols. We just won’t have our own barracks.”
According to PSP Maj. Maynard Gray, the Philipsburg barracks is responsible to provide police coverage to approximately 14,600 residents in nine municipalities, as well as an 11-mile portion of Interstate 99. He said there were 32 personnel on the roster at the Philipsburg barracks at the time of the move, and they combined with the 45 individuals on the Rockview roster to form the single police barrack.
Authorities said those wishing to contact police are encouraged to call the Bellefonte building using the Rockview barracks telephone number, (814) 355-7545.