By Linda Dillman
Canal Winchester City Councilman Pat Lynch wants more bang for taxpayer bucks when it comes to police protection by Madison Township.
While the city pays Fairfield County approximately $1.165 million a year for the service of 11 county sheriff deputies, who provide a total of 376 hours per week in 24-hour coverage, Lynch said he wants to discuss Madison Township Police service to Canal Winchester at council’s Sept. 30 committee of the whole meeting.
Mayor Mike Ebert said Canal Winchester property owners have paid for township law enforcement since the early 1970s.
“It needs to be talked about,” said Lynch during the Sept. 3 council meeting after reporting Canal Winchester residents pay more than $500,000 in taxes to the township for police levies. “It’s half of what we’re already paying for our existing service. Madison Township should be supplying one-third of our police protection. How do we get them to provide one-third of our police protection? For the dollars our residents are paying, we should get one-third of our service from Madison Township.”
According to Lynch, the township provides reports of service in Canal Winchester. However, he said the number of calls amount to only five percent of the city’s overall calls for service.
“The people of Canal Winchester should get what they’re paying for,” continued Lynch. “The question becomes how much of their budget are we paying for?”
According to the Fairfield County contract, 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 funds 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 contract 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. The contract also allows for one replacement vehicle per year at an approximate cost of $40,000.