Whitewater Twp. Faces Sheriff’s Patrol Dilemma
(Whitewater Township, Oh.) – Hamilton County Sheriff’s deputies will no longer patrol Whitewater Township starting April 1, unless the township ponies up $70,000.
Hamilton County Commissioners last year slashed the sheriff’s office patrol budget by $4 million. In a letter sent to trustees in ten county townships last week, Leis said the township funding of patrols will begin April 1, seven months sooner than expected, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
Leis told Whitewater Township trustees the township will have to pay $69,187 per year, per deputy to continue the patrols. The actual cost of a patrol officer is $87,054, but the sheriff’s office will help townships with some of the cost in the first year.
“To assist in making these changes easier, I have suggested a proposal to Hamilton County which they have accepted as reasonable and have agreed to work with us to resolve this issue, hopefully to satisfaction of all involved,” Leis said in the letter.
The cost would go up each year until April 1, 2015, when townships begin to cover the entire salary and benefits of each patrol officer, in addition to the equipment necessary to perform their duties.
Whitewater Township has no police patrol of its own, so it would likely have to begin paying for the sheriff’s patrol.
Township trustee Hubert Brown told the Enquirer the cost of $350,000 to keep Whitewater Townships patrols at the same current levels would mean each resident $65 per year.
The cost would require a levy issue for voters to decide if they want to continue receiving regular patrols.
No matter what happens to the patrols, the sheriff’s office would still be responsible for responding to 911 calls across the county. Criminal investigations, marine patrol, SWAT, drug units, K9 officers, and other services would still be provided.