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November/December 2012

Inside This Issue:


Pennsylvania State Police Coverage of Municipalities
The Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) is mandated to provide law enforcement coverage to Pennsylvania municipalities that do not have their own police departments, as well as assist municipalities that have their own full-time force with traffic supervision, violent crime suppression, some case investigations, and other services as requested. At present, municipalities do not provide any direct reimbursement to the commonwealth for patrol and other services provided by PSP.

According to the results of research sponsored by the Center for Rural Pennsylvania, PSP provided full- or part-time coverage to 67 percent of the commonwealth’s 2,562 municipalities during the study period of 2006-2010. This coverage was heavily focused towards rural municipalities, with 92 percent of rural municipalities being patrolled by PSP. PSP also patrolled 22 percent of urban municipalities.

PSP covered, on a full- or part-time basis, an average of about 3.4 million Pennsylvanians per year.

In 75 percent of the cases where PSP provided patrol coverage to a municipality, the coverage was full-time.

Research background
Dr. Gary Zajac and Lindsay Kowalski of Pennsylvania State University conducted the research in 2011.

The research explored issues surrounding the services provided by PSP to Pennsylvania municipalities that either have no police department or have only a part-time police department.

Specifically, it examined the number of municipalities receiving patrol services and their rural/urban breakdown; the levels of patrol services provided; and the specific types of incidents to which PSP responded in these municipalities. It also explored the amount, type, and distribution of revenue the commonwealth received from PSP patrol services in municipalities.

Research results
Looking at the specific types of incidents to which PSP responded in these municipalities, the research found the profile to be consistent with routine municipal patrol activities. The top 10 incidents to which PSP responded in both rural and urban municipalities included requests for assistance, collisions, burglaries, thefts, assaults, criminal mischief, and other, such as 911 hang-ups and disturbance incidents. PSP appears to be fulfilling a fairly traditional municipal policing role in municipalities where it has patrol responsibilities.

Looking at the workload level that municipal patrol responsibilities place on PSP, the study found that 72 percent of all PSP calls for service occurred in municipalities where PSP has some official (full- or part-time) level of patrol responsibility. Rural municipalities that rely on PSP for full-time coverage accounted for the largest proportion of PSP incident response at 46 percent. However, urban municipalities that have their own local police departments accounted for the second largest proportion of incident responses at 23 percent.

Municipalities do not provide any direct compensation to the commonwealth in exchange for PSP patrol or other services. Fines written by troopers patrolling municipalities can be seen as an indirect source of reimbursement.

During the study period, PSP wrote more than $136 million in vehicle-code citations (Title 75 offenses), 70 percent of which were written in municipalities where PSP has some official patrol responsibility. Half of this traffic fine revenue was returned to the municipalities where PSP wrote the fine.

An additional $14.7 million was written in non-traffic fines (non-Title 75 offenses), with 85 percent being written in municipalities where PSP has official patrol responsibility. All of this fine revenue remained with the commonwealth.

It should be noted that this study, conducted in 2011, was completed before the enactment of Act 124 of 2012, which amended Title 42 Section 3571(b). The act provides that fines and forfeitures for vehicle offenses prosecuted as a result of PSP action shall only be distributed to municipalities that have populations under 3,000 or provide at least 40 hours per week of local police service through a municipal police department or regional police department or contract for police services with another municipality or regional department. Revenues not payable to municipalities are to be transferred to PSP for cadet classes.

Report available
For a copy of the report, An Examination of Pennsylvania State Police Coverage of Municipalities, call or email the Center at (717) 787-9555 or info@rural.palegislature.us or visit www.rural.palegislature.us.

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Recruitment and Retention of Pennsylvania Firefighters
When that fire whistle blows, most communities rely on trained firefighters, usually volunteers, to answer that call for help. When times are quiet, however, community members may not realize that their firefighters are still working hard, completing long hours of training, and in most cases, participating in a variety of recruiting and fundraising activities.

In 2001, the Center for Rural Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Fire and Emergency Services Institute conducted a statewide survey of fire chiefs to better understand the wide range of issues, including recruitment and retention and training and fundraising, that state fire companies faced.

In 2012, the Center and the Emergency Services Institute completed a follow-up survey to find out how fire companies were doing and to track any changes that may have occurred over the past 11 years.

According to the 2012 survey, 52 percent of respondent companies had a net increase in firefighters. In 2001, 60 percent of companies had a net increase in firefighters.

The top firefighter recruitment methods used by fire companies in both 2012 and 2001 were word of mouth, and family and friends.

Firefighters cited the same main reasons for leaving service in 2012 and 2001. The reasons included moving, job commitments, family commitments, and/or loss of interest in firefighting.

The 2012 results found that fire companies, on average, had 17 fundraising events and responded to 551 fire calls per year.

For a copy of the results, Pennsylvania Firefighters: Recruitment and Retention, 2001 and 2012, call or email the Center at (717) 787-9555 or info@rural.palegislature.us or visit www.ruralpalegislature.us/publications_fact_sheets.html.

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Chairman’s Message
Pictured left to right: Senator Gene Yaw, Center chairman; Gene Barr, Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry president and CEO; and Robert F. Powelson, Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission chairman.
Chairman’s Message
On October 4, the Center for Rural Pennsylvania, in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission and the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, hosted a meeting on natural gas extension services. The meeting was a follow-up to the public hearing the Center hosted back in April, which focused on the pros, cons and solutions to providing natural gas service to Pennsylvanians who are currently unable to use this abundant resource.

The October meeting was well attended by representatives of local and state government agencies and organizations, and the natural gas distribution industry.

The meeting attendees shared information about the statewide availability of natural gas for residential and commercial uses, how other states regulate gas line extension services, and the availability of state and federal loan and financing programs for consumers. They also discussed ideas and possible solutions on how to make natural gas available to more residents, businesses and institutions statewide.

Over the next few months, the attendees will be sharing information that was discussed at the meeting and will set a date to reconvene to keep moving forward on bringing natural gas services to more Pennsylvania consumers.

On behalf of the board and staff, I thank the attendees for their interest and look forward to continuing the discussion and taking any necessary action. And as we move forward, we’ll be sure to keep you up-to-date on our progress.

Also on behalf of the board and staff, I wish you a happy holiday season.

Senator Gene Yaw

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Rural Snapshot: New Moms
According to 2010 data from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, 33,611 rural women gave birth to 34,173 babies. About 2 percent of these moms gave birth to twins or triplets. The same year, 106,100 urban women gave birth to 108,197 babies. About 2 percent of these moms gave birth to twins or triplets.

To learn more about the women who gave birth in 2010, the Center for Rural Pennsylvania analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2010 American Community Survey Public Use Microdata Sample (ACS-PUMS). The focus was on rural and urban women between the ages of 15 and 50 who gave birth in 2010. The analysis excluded women who gave birth in an institution, such as a prison or nursing home. And for ease of reading, all women who gave birth in 2010 are referred to as “new moms,” regardless of the number of prior births.

Findings
Age
In general, rural new moms were younger than urban new moms. The average age of rural new moms was 28.5 compared to 29.7 for urban new moms. The majority of rural new moms (58 percent) were between the ages of 18 to 29, while the majority of urban new moms (52 percent) were 30 years old or older. Among new moms in rural and urban areas, only 2 percent were under 18 years old.

Race/Ethnicity
Among rural new moms, 90 percent were white/non-Hispanic and 10 percent were minorities. Among urban new moms, 63 percent were white/non-Hispanic and 37 percent were minorities.

Household Type
The average rural new mom lived in a household with 4.2 persons and the average urban new mom lived in a household with 4.1 persons. 
The Census Bureau estimated that 11 percent of households with rural new moms were multigenerational; that is, they had more than three generations living in the household. Among urban new moms, 13 percent lived in a multigenerational household.

Marital Status
Sixty-seven percent of rural new moms were married and 33 percent were not. Among those who were not married, 84 percent had never been married and 16 percent were widowed, divorced or separated. In comparison, 63 percent of urban new moms were married and 37 percent were not. Ten percent of those not married were widowed, divorced or separated and 90 percent had never been married.

There was an age gap of about 5 years between rural new moms who were married and those who were not married. The average age of those who were married was 30.3 and the average age of those who were not married was 24.8. There was a similar age gap between urban new moms who were married and not married.

Rural new moms who were not married had an average of 4.0 persons living in their household. The same was true for urban new moms who were not married; their households had an average of 4.1 persons.

Among married rural new moms, there was an average of 4.3 persons living in their household, and among married urban new moms there was an average of 4.1 persons.

Educational Attainment
In general, rural new moms had slightly higher educational attainment levels than all rural women age 15 to 50 years old. Among rural new moms, 36 percent had an associate’s degree or higher, compared to 31 percent of all rural women in this age group. 

Urban new moms had significantly higher educational attainment levels than rural new moms as 46 percent of urban new moms had an associate’s degree or higher compared to 36 percent of rural new moms.

As educational attainment levels increased, so did the average age of rural and urban new moms. For example, the average age of rural new moms with an associate’s degree or higher was 32, while the average age of rural new moms with a high school diploma or less was 26. This pattern was also true for urban new moms.

Employment
The majority of new rural and urban moms were employed (58 percent and 61 percent, respectively). One difference between these two groups was the number that was employed but temporarily absent from work due to factors such as illness or parental leave. Among employed rural new moms, 23 percent were employed but temporarily absent from work.  Thirteen percent of urban new moms were in this category.

Among rural new moms who were employed and not temporarily absent, 36 percent worked part-time (less than 35 hours per week) and 64 percent worked full-time (35 or more hours per week). For urban new moms, 29 percent worked part-time and 71 percent worked full-time.

Income and Poverty
The median income for households with rural new moms was $50,381. For households with urban new moms, the median income was nearly $10,300 higher, or $60,659. 

The overall poverty rate for rural new moms was 28 percent and for urban new moms, 20 percent.

There was an even larger difference between new moms who were married and not married. Among rural new moms who were married, the poverty rate was 14 percent and for those who were not married, the poverty rate was 57 percent. For married urban new moms, the poverty rate was 8 percent and for those who were not married the rate was 40 percent.

Twenty-seven percent of rural new moms lived in a household that received SNAP (food stamp) benefits. Among urban new moms, 23 percent lived in a household that received SNAP benefits.

Housing
Sixty-four percent of rural new moms lived in their own home and 36 percent were renters. Among urban new moms, 61 percent lived in their own home and 39 percent were renters. 

Among rural new moms who lived in their own home, median monthly housing costs, such as mortgage and utilities, were $1,064, or approximately 21 percent of their total household income. Urban new moms who lived in their own home had median monthly housing costs of $1,622, or 23 percent of their total income.

The median monthly gross rent for rural new moms was $720, or approximately 31 percent of their total income. The median monthly gross rent for urban new moms was $920, or 33 percent of their total income.

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Senate and House Resolutions Mark Center’s 25th Anniversary

Senate and House Resolutions Mark Center’s 25th Anniversary
Pictured left to right: Jonathan Johnson, senior policy analyst; Linda Lebo, administrative assistant; Senator Gene Yaw; Mary Kandray Gelenser, program manager for grants; Sen. John Wozniak; Christine Caldara Piatos, communications manager; Barry Denk, director; and Thomas Stark, intern.

On October 1, the Center for Rural Pennsylvania was recognized by the Pennsylvania General Assembly for 25 years of service to the legislature and the residents of Pennsylvania.

Center Board Chairman Senator Gene Yaw and Center Board Treasurer Senator John Wozniak sponsored Senate Resolution 343, and Board Members Representative Garth Everett and Representative Rick Mirabito sponsored House Resolution 883 to cite the legislative agency’s work to promote and sustain the vitality of Pennsylvania’s rural and small communities.

Senator Yaw commended the Center for its commitment to improving conditions throughout the state for both rural and urban communities.

“Many people believe the work performed by the Center is only geared toward rural Pennsylvania,” Senator Yaw said. “While that may be true to an extent, many of the studies performed by the Center have had an enormous impact on Pennsylvania’s urban areas. This is an agency that benefits every Pennsylvanian.”

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Here are Pennsylvania’s Rural Municipalities
In September 2012, the U.S. Census Bureau released data from the 2010 Census that helped identify urbanized areas in Pennsylvania. With this data, the Center for Rural Pennsylvania can now identify rural and urban Pennsylvania municipalities. 

According to the Center’s definition, a municipality is rural when the population density within the municipality is less than the statewide average density of 284 persons per square mile, or the total population is less than 2,500, unless more than 50 percent of the population lives in an urbanized area as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau. All other municipalities are considered urban.

According to the 2010 data, 1,592, or 62 percent, of the state’s 2,562 municipalities are rural and 970 municipalities, or 38 percent, are urban.

From 2000 to 2010, 98 municipalities changed their rural/urban status. Seventy-eight municipalities switched from rural to urban and 20 municipalities changed from urban to rural.

Pennsylvania Rural and Urban Municipalities

A look at rural PA municipalities:
1,740 = average population in 2010;
3 percent = increase in population from 2000 to 2010;
23 square miles = average municipal land area;
75 persons per square mile = average population density in 2010;
7 percent = increase in housing units from 2000 to 2010; and
73 percent are townships of the second class, 26 percent are boroughs, and about 1 percent are cities of the third class and townships of the first class.

And urban PA municipalities:
10,239 = average population in 2010;
4 percent = increase in population from 2000 to 2010;
8 square miles = average municipal land area;
1,293 per square mile = average population density in 2010;
6 percent = increase in housing units from 2000 to 2010; and
55 percent are boroughs, 30 percent are townships of the second class, 9 percent are townships of the first class, and 6 percent are first to third class cities.

A look at the 78 municipalities that changed from rural to urban:
3,824 = average population in 2010;
19 percent = increase in population from 2000 to 2010;
12 square miles = average municipal land area;
332 persons per square mile = average population density in 2010;
22 percent = increase in housing units from 2000 to 2010; and
53 percent were boroughs and 47 were townships of the second class.

And the 20 municipalities that changed from urban to rural:
2,884 = average population in 2010;
8 percent = decrease in population from 2000 to 2010;
11 square miles = average municipal land area;
267 persons per square mile = average population density in 2010;
2 percent = decline in housing units from 2000 to 2010; and
50 percent were boroughs, 45 were townships of the second class, and 5 percent were townships of the first class.

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Just the Facts: Tattoo You
Are you thinking about getting a tattoo? If so, you’ll have plenty of places to choose from in rural Pennsylvania.

According to data from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry (L&I), there are 149 rural tattooing establishments in 2012. Per capita, this comes to 4.3 tattooing establishments for every 100,000 residents.

In urban Pennsylvania, there are 370 tattooing establishments, or 4.0 for every 100,000 residents.

Per capita, the three counties with the most tattooing establishments are Warren, Monroe and Clarion.  Each has 7.5 or more tattooing establishments for every 100,000 residents.

According to the L&I data, eight counties have no tattooing establishments.

While there is no known data on how many rural Pennsylvanians have a tattoo, a 2010 survey by the Pew Research Center found that 23 percent of all Americans who are 18 years old and older have a tattoo.

The survey also found that adult men and women are equally likely to have tattoos, and that young adults are more likely to have a tattoo than older adults.

According to the survey, 38 percent of 18 to 29 year olds have a tattoo, 32 percent of 30 to 45 year olds have a tattoo, 15 percent of 46 to 64 year olds have a tattoo, and 6 percent of those who are 65 years old and older have one.

If you’re under 18 years old, however, you should know that you need the approval of a parent or guardian to get that ink.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), Pennsylvania is one of 31 states that prohibit minors from getting a tattoo without parental consent. 

 

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