Block watches encouraged in Franklin Township

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By Amanda Ensinger
Staff Writer

Franklin Township Police Chief Byron Smith said there is a need for more block watches. He discussed this topic at a recent board of trustees meeting.

According to Smith, there were more than 12,200 dispatch calls, more than 680 accidents and 122,000 miles driven in 2018. With these numbers and how spread out the township is, Smith said it is important that the community continue to have active block watches in neighborhoods.

“We are going to send out a mailer promoting all the block watches in the township and encouraging people to participate in them,” Smith said. “We can’t be everywhere all the time, so having block watches keeping an eye out on crime and notifying us is very beneficial to the entire community.”

Keeping in line with police protection in the township, the board also discussed plans for the 2019 National Night Out.

The event takes place the first Tuesday in August across the country and celebrates first responders. The annual event builds relationships between police and first responds and the community. The event focuses on making communities safer and includes educational information, food, games and other family activities.

Taking place for 20 years in Franklin Township, the annual event is organized by the Westbrook Eastfield Neighborhood Association. The event was started by Juanita Kaufman and lifelong resident of the township who led the event for over 20 years. Recently, Kaufman stepped down from leading the event, leaving many residents wondering if the event will still carry on.

“Organizers want to start talking about National Night Out and finding a new chairman,” said Ralph Horn, township trustee. “We have to get the ball rolling because it will be here before you know it.”

The police department also announced they are taking applications to hire part-time officers.

“We have hired all our part-time officers to full-time employees,” Smith. “We are currently taking applications if anyone knows anyone interested.”

In other township news, the board gave an update on a new township logo. Recently, the township attempted to have students from Franklin Heights High School design a logo for the township. However, after several attempts, the students were not able to create a logo that met the township’s needs.

“The students have sent us several versions of a logo, but it still isn’t where we need it to be,” Fleshman said. “We have given them direction on what we would like to see, but they are still not delivering what we need.”

The trustees agreed to hire a professional to create a logo for the township. They also agreed to send the students a gift certificate for classroom supplies for their efforts.

According to the trustees, they are now researching what the price would be to hire a professional to create this logo with a goal of having this complete in 2019.

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