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Changes in store for WJ police property room
West Jefferson Village Council is studying two proposals to update operations in the police department’s property room.
The ordinances, said Lt. Gary McNeal, would bring the property room into line with Ohio Revised Code standards.
One calls for the department to provide each officer with a locker in which he or she places evidence and personal or village property under lock and key. The proposed policy also outlines the procedure officers must follow when taking custody of evidence or property and when releasing such items.
“You keep personal property and evidence in the same box?” asked councilwoman Sheila Nelson at the Oct. 1 council meeting.
“Not every piece of evidence needs to go to the property room,” McNeal assured her.
The proposed policy also calls for the police chief to name a property room custodian and assistant to accept and record the items.
The second proposal sets rules for the disposition of property. Unclaimed or forfeited property would be disposed of by order of the public safety director. Drugs would be destroyed or turned over to an officer of the Treasury Department. Alcoholic beverages would be destroyed or turned over to the State Liquor Control Department.
Also according to the proposal, police officers would be required to make a reasonable effort to locate the owner of all other lost, abandoned, stolen or lawfully seized or forfeited property unless it was used in the commission of a crime or was illegal for the person to have.
Council is expected to hold a second reading on the two proposed policies and possibly vote on them at the Oct. 15 council meeting.
Changes to I-70/29 Interchange
Council unanimously approved a resolution that allows Mayor Darlene Steele to sign a contract allowing the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) to begin work on improvements at the I-70/State Route 29 interchange.
“The good news is it doesn’t look like we (the village) will be bearing any part of the cost,” said Ron Parsons, village law director.
“Why should we, when it is entirely outside the village limits?” said councilman Ron Garver who also wanted to know when work would begin.
“They (ODOT) haven’t given me a timeframe,” Parsons said.
Work on the interchange is designed to make it easier for trucks to get on and off the interstate.
Village Job Openings
Steele said she has received 34 applications for the position of public service director, which will become vacant at the end of the year when Harold Walker Jr. retires.
“I’ve narrowed the list to 10 and want to pare it further before I start interviews,” Steele said.
She said she hopes to have the new director in place sometime in October, “so he will have a chance to work with Harold for several weeks.”
Also open is the position of parks and recreation director, formerly held by the late Jack McDowell. Walker filled the position temporarily over the summer with his main duty being operation of the municipal swimming pool.
“The pool is closed for the year and the parks can take care of themselves right now,” Steele said.
Employee Handbook Revisions
Councilman Cory Coburn said the employee benefits committee, which he chairs, will meet Oct. 18 to finalize revisions to the village employee handbook before presenting the revisions to council in November.
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