Trustees will check into officer for DTF

PERRY TOWNSHIP – Township trustees will be looking at the feasibility of assigning a police officer to the Columbiana County Drug Task Force on a part-time basis.

Police Chief Mike Emigh approached trustees with the request Monday night, stressing though that he wants to find another part-time patrolman for the road first. The last part-time officer who left has not been replaced yet.

Emigh said having an officer on the DTF is something that has been on his mind for awhile. When the department helped back up Salem Police, the DTF and the Drug Enforcement Administration last week on a meth lab bust, he said “that was the icing on the cake.”

It has been a long time since the township participated in the multi-department DTF. Participating departments pay the salary and benefits of their officers assigned to work on the DTF and many had pulled back officers to their home departments in the last several years due to financial constraints.

The county commissioners provided some financial incentive in the past year for communities to rejoin the DTF, with $10,000 offered for a part-time officer and $20,000 offered for a full-time officer as a means to defray some of the costs for the municipalities and townships. Several have signed on, with Salem bumping its assigned officer from part-time to full-time with the DTF.

Emigh said once he has another part-time patrolman in place, he wants to look at the numbers to see if they can afford to have one of the full-time officers devote part of the time to the DTF.

Trustee Chairman Cliff Mix had asked whether the department had enough manpower to do that. He said they will only do it if it is financially feasible. The chief said he spoke briefly with Sheriff Ray Stone about rejoining the DTF. He will be checking to see how many hours the officer will be required to devote to the DTF per week.

In other police business, trustees approved a police mutual aid agreement with the city of Salem to formalize what had already been happening for years with the two departments serving as each other’s backups.

Township resident Daryl Fink asked trustees about possibly passing an ordinance or some type of legislation to require solicitors to secure a permit from the township before they can go door-to-door. He explained how he was approached one evening by a young man asking for his vote, wanting him to buy magazine subscriptions so he could win some prize so he could start his own business. He told Fink if he didn’t want a magazine himself, he could buy one for someone in the service.

“That sounds like a pretty good scam,” Mix said.

Fink called police and they found the guy. He had no license or permit, but the officer explained that in the township, they don’t have to have a permit like they do in the city of Salem. Fink thought it would be smart to have a rule like Salem does, saying he would hate to see some elderly person fall prey to the scam, thinking they are sending a magazine to a service member or ill child when the person doing the selling is probably keeping the money.

Mix explained that township trustees can’t pass ordinances like the city can, but they can check the Ohio Revised Code to see if there’s something that would permit them to do something. He said they’ll check to see if they can pass some type of resolution requiring a permit for solicitors.

In other business, Fire Chief Bruce Whitcher thanked trustees for their support in getting two automated external defibrillators for the fire department at a cost of $3,190. One will be placed on a truck at the north station and the other one on a truck at the south station. All members of the department are first aid, CPR and AED-qualified.

He also thanked everybody for their support of the department’s recent pancake breakfast. Trustees Don Rudibaugh and Don Kendrick also offered their thanks for all who supported the breakfast and for the volunteers who worked it.

Mix announced leaf pickup will begin Nov. 4 on the north side of the township for two weeks, and then on the south side for two weeks. Leaves must be bagged, with the bags placed curbside. Any sticks must be bundled.

Trick-or-treat will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 31, the same time as the city.