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Mercer Co. police department not allowed to operate during misconduct investigation

The South Pymatuning Township Police Department is suspended until June

SOUTH PYMATUNING TWP., Pa. (WKBN) - South Pymatuning Township has its own police department, It's a small community nestled in west central Mercer County. 

That small department is now suspended and not allowed to operate because of accusations of misconduct. 

Howard Wiley and Keri Bozich are the ones looking into the South Pymatuning Police Department. They shared their concerns and findings Wednesday night.

They said about 30 of the 42 radios in the department are missing and the drug cabinet was fully exposed -- and township supervisors didn't know it was happening.

"There was also a silencer purchased in 2012," Bozich said.

That's one thing investigators found had people talking.

"The township owns fully automatic machine guns," Bozich said.

Investigators said a few officers bought the machine guns in the police department's name.

"One officer paid in cash. Three others paid via payroll deduction so this purchase was initially paid with township money," Bozich said.

Those transactions were not approved by township supervisors, leaving leaders with one option -- suspend the operations of the police department.

That suspension runs from February 17 through June 1.

There will still be a police presence in the township. Pennsylvania State Police will handle the calls.

Bozich and Wiley are still investigating.

They said so far, from what they've found, they can make a professional opinion about the police department, saying it "was in a full state of collapse."

No charges are being filed until the investigation is complete.

Editor's note: This story is corrected to show the police department in question is South Pymatuning, NOT Pymatuning. We're sorry for the mistake.

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