By Amanda Ensinger
Franklin Township’s police department continues to fight increased crime in the area despite having less staff. Recently, the board of trustees approved laying off three part-time officers.
The trustees made the decision to lay off the officers after a police levy failed for the third time.
The current five-year timed levy the township has is set to expire in December and residents have three separate times rejected permanent levies for the department. The department also has two other permanent levies it collects from township taxpayers. Those two levies bring in approximately $700,000 a year.
Before the levy failed, the department was operating 24 hours a day with 10 full-time and three part-time officers. Currently, the department is running two shifts and only responding to emergency calls.
“There were 51 runs handled by the (Franklin County) sheriff’s office in the last two weeks,” said Franklin Township Police Chief Byron Smith.
The board plans to once again ask voters to approve a 7.3-mill permanent levy.
“I am upset that we have to layoff officers and am asking everyone to band together to get support for the upcoming levy,” said Franklin Township Trustee Ralph Horn said. “I want the police department to have the best they can possibly have.”
In other news, despite the cuts to staff, three officers were recently recognized for going above and beyond in the line of duty. The trustees awarded officers Tim Myers, Kevin Distelhorst, and David Pollack with the award of merit for dissolving a situation that involved a person waving a machete.