Franklin County deputy discusses safety issues with township trustees

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By Amanda Ensinger
Staff Writer

Prairie Township officials discussed a variety of safety issues at a recent board meeting.

Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy Burton Haren brought up the importance of Project Lifesaver.

According to its website, Project Lifesaver is a search and rescue program operated internationally by public safety agencies, and is strategically designed for “at risk” individuals who are prone to the life threatening behavior of wandering. The primary mission of Project Lifesaver is to provide timely response to save lives and reduce potential injury for adults and children with the propensity to wander due to a cognitive condition.

“Last week, we did have an individual, with a qualifying condition for Project Lifesaver, go missing in the township,” Haren said. “We were able to locate the individual without injury, but Project Lifesaver could have helped find this person much quicker. I recommend looking into Project Lifesaver if they have a friend or relative that may benefit from this program.”

Haren also reported that there has been a increase in overdoses and shootings in the township. He said they are currently working to increase proactive measures to reduce these shootings.

Residents who hear or see anything are encouraged to share this information with the Sheriff’s Office House Watch List.

“Residents can call to request their property be on the list if they happen to be out of town,” he said. “The recent shootings were at North and South Lincoln Village, very close to West Board Street. They were most likely related to gang violence.”

According to Haren, a deputy recently performed a traffic stop that resulted in a seizure of drugs, as well as tools often used in catalytic converter thefts.

Residents also asked for an update on when deputies would start wearing body cameras. Haren said he would provide more information on that in the future.

In other news, the board adopted a resolution proceeding with this year’s sidewalk program, setting a public hearing for the program and approving the advertisement of the hearing.

“The public hearing will be held at 7 p.m. on May 18,” said Prairie Township Administrator James Jewell. “The program will include voluntary and involuntary participants.”

The program, which replaces dangerous sidewalks in the township, has been taking place for over 15 years. It offers township property owners a 10-year interest free loan to repair their sidewalks. The loans are added to the property taxes of residents and paid off over a decade.

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