Groveport mulls buying a police motorcycle

Groveport Village Council is considering adding a motorcycle to its police force’s transportation arsenal.

At council’s Aug. 13 meeting, Councilman Ed Rarey suggested the village look into purchasing a police motorcycle stating, "I can see how it would be an asset because it could go places a police cruiser could not. It would enhance our program."

The Groveport Police Department alreadly has 10 marked police cruisers (including one SUV) and eight police bicycles.

In an interview following the meeting, Groveport Police Chief Gary York said there are pros and cons to having a police motorcycle. He said a motorcycle would have "high visibility" in the community and would be useful in controlling traffic as well as other police work.

"It would have multi-functions," said York. "It can also be used for criminal patrol and could go places where it’s difficult for a cruiser to go, like bike paths, parks, and school grounds."

Other advantages cited by York are that a motorcycle costs less to purchase and operate than a cruiser.

Disadvantages to consider, according to York, are that a motorcycle cannot transport arrested suspects nor can it carry all the technology a cruiser is capable of using. He said there are also questions whether a motorcycle could be used year round considering winter weather. But, he added, the city of Columbus uses police motorcycles year round by attaching a sidecar to provide stability on slippery roads.

Mayor Lance Westcamp asked York to obtain prices for a police motorcycle, explore whether any of the village’s police officers have a motorcycle license, and see  what training would be needed for the officers to operate a police motorcycle.

The issue will be discussed further at council’s committee of the whole meeting on Aug. 20 at 6:30 p.m. at the municipal building, 655 Blacklick St.

School resource officer

Council heard the second reading of an ordinance to authorize a Groveport police officer to serve as school resource officer at Groveport Madison High School for the 2007-08 school year at a cost to the school district of $46,523. This figure represents 69 percent of the cost of the officer with the village’s portion figured at $20,902. It would be the fourth year the village has supplied the officer.

York said, if the ordinance is approved, the officer will be at the school for the full school day and be on the school grounds before the students arrive.

"I want him there and visible when the kids get off the bus," said York.

Income tax revenue

According to Village Administrator Jon Crusey, income tax receipts for the village in July were $537,316, which is $112,898 below July 2006.

However, overall, income tax revenue is up compared to last year.

"Year-to-day, income tax revenue has achieved a 10.96 percent, or $624,124, increase over the same period last year and is $339,463, or 5.68 percent, above budgeted projections," reported Crusey.

Other Groveport news

•Groveport was awarded a $42,157 NatureWorks grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for the construction of a playground structure in Groveport Park.

•Crusey noted the grant "will cover 94 percent of the cost of the play structure with village crews accomplishing the installation."

•Council approved an ordinance to prohibit parking along both sides of Old Hamilton Road and Bixby Road adjacent to Cruiser Park.

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