Perry Twp. residents voice cop concerns

PERRY TWP. — Two residents who have been requesting a bigger police presence in the township and having a township officer on the Columbiana County Drug Task Force returned Monday, voicing their concerns again.

Trustees again told them no decision had been made and that the finances still had to be reviewed.

Linda Dickey, who’s been coming to the meetings since last fall after it was reported hours were being cut for police officers, asked if the trustees were planning to put an officer on the DTF and hire another full-time officer. She wanted to know where the township stood on those issues, noting they were told the trustees would have a better handle on the finances after the first quarter of 2019.

“You should be able to answer those questions now,” she said, pointing out that June is half over.

Fiscal Officer Susan Johnston told the trustees she gave them the financial report and that they’ve had it for over a month. They had planned to

do a budget workshop after the trustee meeting, but Trustee Jim Armeni was unable to attend the meeting. Trustee Cliff Mix said they would have to see how the budget came out. He confirmed that they hadn’t decided about the DTF.

Dickey questioned why they couldn’t take one of the four part-time officers and make them full-time. Mix noted they were hired under the condition of being part-time.

“Our police chief does not want another full-time officer at this time,” Mix said, prompting Dickey to say, “Why wouldn’t he?”

“You all serve us and we want more patrols out there. You should be able to tell us by now,” she said.

Mix said the chief has a budget to go by. He wasn’t able to be at the meeting due to training in Medina.

Maria Harrold, another resident who’s been accompanying Dickey at the meetings regarding the police issue, asked how many patrolmen are out at the same time on a shift. Mix said it varies, then she asked why they were directing traffic on state Route 45 at the bypass for a construction project. Mix said that was requested by the state, with the state paying for the car and the township covering the cost of a patrolman. He said some of the businesses also requested the traffic control. Flaggers were also out there for the contractor.

mgreier@salemnews.net

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