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PIB Township Policing In The New Year
New Year’s Day marked the first day that the Ottawa County Sheriff was scheduled to police Put-in-Bay Township. The Township trustees voted at the end of 2022 to not renew the contract with the Village it had for policing the Township. This was in spite of the fact the contractual cost with the Sheriff more than doubled from the 2022 bill with the Village from about $300,000 to $750,000 per year. So far, the only evidence of any Sheriff presence in January was an Ottawa County Sheriff vehicle parked at the Put-in-Bay Airport.
Shortly into the New Year, members of the Village Council and the Sheriff got together to discuss coverage issues. Initially, the Sheriff wanted the PIB Village Police to continue covering the Township at no cost, and Council and the Mayor were a little taken aback by what they were hearing, saying mutual aid in time of an emergency is one thing, but doing the day to day patrolling, etc. without reimbursement was another.
The meeting ended with the Sheriff asking the Village to police the township until the ferries start running or possibly through April. The sheriff will also take over dispatching for both jurisdictions. All this will be revisited after the sheriff gets his officers hired and trained and up and running on the island.
In the meantime, the Put-in-Bay Police are responding to all calls in the Township. Anything that requires more investigation, etc. will be done by the Sheriff.
At another meeting in January, the Township Trustees approved funding for housing the sheriff deputies and two vehicles for them to use. They also addressed where they were getting the funding for contracting with the sheriff, reporting it is coming from previous savings, a grant from the Ohio Department of Public Safety, plus $50,000 remaining from the Covid-19 CARES Act.
Where funding will come from in the coming years was not addressed, but with the November 8th real estate tax levy going down to a 192 to 192 vote, it would seem more than likely the trustees will be coming back and trying for a new police levy.
The previous piece is published in this month’s Put-in-Bay Gazette. The Gazette has been producing incredible independent Put-in-Bay island news for over 40 years. If you have any interest at all in what is happening on South Bass Island, we urge you strongly to subscribe to the Put-in-Bay Gazette. One-year online subscriptions are only $15, and print subscriptions are available as well. To subscribe please click here.
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