By Linda Dillman
Canal Winchester City Council is considering adding another officer or two to a law enforcement contract with Fairfield County, but still wants to know how much police service Madison Township is providing for the hundreds of thousands of dollars paid by city taxpayers to the township.
“We got a lot of new people coming here,” said Councilman Pat Lynch. “We can’t expect our police force to remain the same. We’re stretching our guys.”
Calling the Madison Township police force “missing in action a little” since the election, council members were frustrated with the lack of movement on a memorandum of understanding between Canal Winchester and the township police force and service provided to the city.
Fairfield County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Jesse Hendershot—who suggested adding another officer on second and first shifts—told council he does not communicate often with the township.
“I do not know how often they are in Canal Winchester,” said Hendershot.
On Oct. 21, 2019, Madison Township Police Chief Gary York and Madison Township Administrator Susan Brobst addressed council regarding the status of services provided by township law enforcement.
During that October meeting, York—who became chief in February 2018—said he told his officers to have greater visibility throughout Canal Winchester.
However, council wants to know how much bang for their buck the city actually gets from the township.
“I want to make sure we are listening to our sheriff and looking into Madison Township,” said Counciwoman Jill Amos.
While Madison Township has authority to issue citations in Canal Winchester, those tickets go to Franklin County. The city and the township were working on an agreement changing the situation where township citations go through the Canal Winchester mayor’s court process.
Law Director Gene Hollins previously said the main purpose of the agreement between the city and township is for township officers to write charges under city code in order to go to mayor’s court.
During the Aug. 3 meeting, Councilman Mike Coolman said he wanted a working agreement with Madison Township.
“We don’t have that,” stated Coolman.
Finance Director Amanda Jackson said there is nothing stopping Madison Township from “being here right now.” Mayor Mike Ebert said he would contact the township and set up a meeting.
“Let’s see if we can get Madison Township on board and get what we’re paying for,” added Councilman Mike Walker.
Council held the first reading on a contract ordinance with Rumpke of Ohio, Inc. for the city’s municipal waste hauling, disposal and recycling services.
The current contract expires Sept. 30. Request for Proposals were evaluated earlier this year by the mayor, Councilman Will Bennett, the public service director, construction services administrator and the finance director.
It was determined that Rumpke’s proposal best served the interests of the city and its residents.