Canal Winchester Council questions Madison Twp. police coverage

By Linda Dillman
Staff Writer

Canal Winchester Finance Director Amanda Jackson recently outlined the city’s relationship with Madison Township and its police department in comparison with the city’s contract with the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Department.

A memorandum of understanding with the township does not regulate the township’s ability to patrol or issue citations in Canal Winchester—the township already has jurisdiction in incorporated areas within township boundaries.

The intent of a Nov. 2019 resolution seeks authority for township officers to issue citations under Canal Winchester code and in the local mayor’s court instead of Franklin County.

The city has a three-year contract with Fairfield County, which expires in December 2021. It provides for two deputies per shift 24/7, one deputy to work a mutually agreed upon shift, one full time sergeant, one full time dispatcher and the purchase of one new vehicle per year.

Citations issued by Fairfield County deputies operating under the contract are written into Canal Winchester’s mayor’s court or the Franklin County court under Canal Winchester code.

Canal Winchester residents pay $600,000 each year in property taxes to the township for police service. There is no contract between the city and Madison Township.
Madison Township has jurisdiction in Canal Winchester, Groveport, parts of Obetz, and unincorporated Madison Township. There are currently two to three township officers on duty at the same time for the entire 40 square mile coverage area.

Canal Winchester City Council are considering adding more deputy/deputies to the contract. Options include one deputy for five days a week at the cost of $88,000; two additional deputies on different shifts for five days a week for $176,000 or two additional deputies on the same shift, albeit for seven days for $176,000.

“We don’t know where we stand with Madison Township,” said Councilman Mike Walker. “Are they going to help us out more? If not, which option?”

Fairfield County Sheriff Sgt. Jesse Hendershot said the township helps out his deputies “quite a bit” when his officers need help.

However, Amos wants more bang for the city’s tax dollars and until council’s questions are answered, said, “As for Madison Township, we need to be a constant thorn in their side.”

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