County program may help protect township citizens

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By Amanda Ensinger
Staff Writer

There is a new team at the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and it will benefit Prairie Township residents.

At a recent Prairie Township board meeting, Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Ronk informed the trustees about a new unit he is a part of and how they can help the township.

“I am one of four deputies in the community liaison unit,” Ronk said. “Sheriff (Dallas) Baldwin saw a need for dedicated deputies who can’t be dispatched and can help fight crime in different regions. As a result, I control my own workload, I can’t be dispatched and I can take direct complaints or issues and investigate them.”

According to Ronk, he is responsible for zone three in Franklin County. This zone includes Prairie, Jackson and Franklin township. A few of the issues Ronk can investigate include continued speeding on township streets, drug houses, suspicious activity in parks and other ongoing issues that need more time and attention.

“The buck really stops with me,” Ronk said. “I’m going to attend township meetings and block watches and really listen to residents’ concerns and address their problems.”

Ronk said that if this program is successful, they hope in the future to have one community liaison dedicated to each township instead of each deputy being responsible for multiple areas at the same time.

“I’m really excited about this unit,” Ronk said. “I think we can really clean up these townships and make a significant impact.”

In other news, the fire department made final preparations for National Fire Prevention Week and it is asking the board for money to purchase supplies.

“We will be going into schools educating students on the importance of fire prevention,” said Prairie Township Fire Chief Chris Snyder. “To do this, we need $2,900 to purchase educational materials.”

During the fire prevention week, the township plans to do a variety of activities to raise awareness about simple things residents can do to protect themselves from a fire. Included in these activities is presentations at local schools, an open house at their fire station and the continued distribution of free smoke detectors to township residents.

The trustees also approved financing $525,000 to pay for the new concession and restroom stand at the Galloway Road Sports Complex.

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