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The Voice

Off-campus local students seek constables for night life hours

Tom Anderson
Constables Joel Ludwig (Cleveland Township) is to the left, Tom Anderson, and Michael Anderson (Jackson Township) is to the right.

Brawls in the street and the lack of peace take over the property fronts of the off campus housing on Iron Street. The missing element this year is the peacekeeping from the local Columbia County Constables.

A number of students are hopeful for a return of the constables services to assist in keeping a safer nightlife environment. Within the last year, the property was purchased from the Apartment Store under new ownership, Campus Edge, who also own the Honeysuckle Apartments.

According to Tom Anderson, the Vice President of the Columbia County Constables, the previous owners lost their property management contract for the properties on Iron Street, Light Street, And Knapp Ave around May of 2023 and failed to pay their final two invoices for constable peacekeeping services.

The new management has not opted to contact the constable services yet. “I’d be happy to negotiate for constables to return to those properties”, said Anderson.

With statewide jurisdiction, constables have many of the same powers as police officers, such as the ability to make arrests for crimes they witness and act as a deterrent to future wrongdoing.

A constable’s point of view

Tom Anderson previously served outside beside 63 Iron Street, along with other constables along the row of off-campus housing, where he enjoyed interacting with the students while looking out for their safety and that of the community.  Many constables were happy for the work, Anderson says.

Anderson suggests that if the students truly want constable peacekeeping, and the new property owners refuse to engage the constables directly, then the residents could raise the funds to cover the costs themselves. Constables rely on their independent contractor relationships with the people they serve to make ends meet; they do not receive any salary, wage, or stipend from the state or local government.

He continued to share future plans. He said, “I’ve also had a preliminary discussion with Mayor Hummel and Chief Price about the Town of Bloomsburg engaging constables for peacekeeping to supplement the town’s police officers.  We don’t have any agreement at this time though.”

Perhaps demand from the town’s residents may push that issue along.

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Carly Busfield, Co-Editor-in-Chief

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