Canal Winchester considers renewing sheriff’s contract

By Linda Dillman
Staff Writer

For the city of Canal Winchester, police protection provided by a contract with the Fairfield County Sheriff is working well enough to renew the agreement for another three years.

An ordinance authorizing Mayor Mike Ebert to enter into a contract with the sheriff’s department started winding its way through the approval process following introduction of an ordinance during a Canal Winchester City Council work session on Oct. 15.

Finance Director Amanda Jackson said, other than the cost, little has changed since the city first entered into an agreement with Fairfield County.

And while the contract contains a provision for purchase of a new vehicle every year, Jackson said it will be a little costlier, initially, for the city since equipment used in the current Dodge Chargers cannot be transferred to newer utility style vehicles.

The current city contract with the county, which expires at the end of December, is approximately $1.1 million a year. The new contract, if approved, is $1.165 million.

“It’s about a six percent increase,” said Jackson. “Some of it is due to wages and upping it to include four vehicles.”

The approximate replacement cost per vehicle is $40,000—which includes equipment—and the monthly cost of the agreement is $101,801.

According to the contract, the sheriff agrees to fund 11 deputies providing 376 hours per week of police protection. Two deputy sheriffs are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week with a third deputy sheriff working a shift mutually agreed upon in writing by the mayor and the sheriff.

The sheriff also agrees to fund one full-time sergeant providing 40 hours per week of supervision overseeing deputy sheriffs and assign one full-time dispatcher to the city.
Potential increases in the annual payment are based upon a combination of costs incurred by the sheriff for services, including salaries, retirement pensions and workers compensation for personnel assigned to Canal Winchester; training; equipment, gasoline and supplies; and vehicles.

Additional deputies may be necessary during the life of the contract and when mutually agreed upon in writing, they may be added to any shift—which was done earlier this year. The city agrees to cover the costs of salaries, benefits, and personnel related taxes for additional personnel.

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