Levy failure means cuts to service in Franklin Township

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By Amanda Ensinger
Staff Writer

According to Franklin Township Police Chief Byron Smith, there will be changes in the department due to the failed levy in November.

Those changes were discussed at a recent township board meeting.

“We have implemented some changes, as we all know the levy didn’t pass so we will definitely be discussing this in coming weeks and months,” Smith said. “The biggest change we are making immediately is we are going to do only priority runs 24/7. We will brown out any shift that doesn’t have coverage, which means no officers out. Most of the minors runs and offenses won’t be covered.”

Recently, the police department asked voters to approve a five-year timed levy that would have replaced an existing timed levy that is set to expire at the end of 2022, as well as added an additional 3-mills to the levy. However, voters rejected the proposed 7.1-mill police levy with 56 percent of residents voting against the levy.

This is the second time the department has asked for a levy within the same year. In the spring of 2021, residents rejected a 7.37-mill permanent levy the department asked for with 66 percent voting against the levy.

The department has two other permanent levies it collects from township taxpayers. Those two levies bring in approximately $700,000 a year for the department.

Smith said they will not have to lay off the 10 full-time and four part-time officers they currently have but they will not have the budget to pay for overtime. As a result, Smith said they will cut shifts.

When campaigning for the levy, Smith said if it failed, there would be cuts to service.

Trustee John Fleshman suggested the police department send a letter to residents letting them know the impacts of the levy failing.

“It needs to almost be a survey asking residents of Franklin Township what they expect from police department going forward,” Fleshman said.

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