Police positions safe in Franklin Twp. for now


By Amanda Amsel
Staff Writer

Franklin Township will continue to have a police presence as township leaders discuss how to sustain their police department.

At a recent special meeting, the board unanimously approved rescinding laying off two township police officers. The officers were scheduled to be laid off at the end of 2015.

“As a result of the police chief taking another job and us not filling his position, we were able to keep the officers,” said Franklin Township trustee Don Cook. “However, we don’t know how long we will be able to continue to do this.”

The trustees approved laying off the officers in November after a 3.91-mil permanent police levy failed. If approved, the levy would have generated $585,000 a year for the police department and cost taxpayers approximately $137 a year per $100,000 home.

If the officers had been laid off, the township would have had four full-time officers and would have been able to run one shift from 2 to 10 p.m. seven days a week. For now, the officers who were going to be laid off will continue to work the 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. shift. The other officers will continue to work a daytime shift.

“This isn’t long lasting and eventually we will need another source of revenue for this department or we will have to go back to one shift,” Cook said. “We had some excess money so we decided the best way to utilize it was to protect the residents of this township. However, we can’t say how long we will be able to sustain these officers, it could be four months or it could be six months.”

Officials have discussed putting another police levy on the ballot, but have yet to decide how much, what type and if they would do it in May or November.

“A new trustee has just joined the board, so we need to meet and discuss our next steps,” Cook said. “All I can say is something needs to be done.”

Cook said within the next month they also will be moving forward with hiring a new chief for the police department. Currently, Sergeant Byron Smith is serving as the acting chief for the township.

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