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Springfield eyes renewal of deal to keep extra deputies on patrol

Along with typical end-of-year bill-paying, Springfield Township trustees are likely to vote tomorrow on renewing the township's contract for supplemental patrols by Lucas County sheriff's deputies.

Bob Anderson, the township administrator, said the renewal had been delayed by negotiations with the sheriff's department concerning the number of patrol cars the township would provide for the operation, but he and a sheriff's department official said that issue appears to have been resolved.

Starting in 2001, the township has contracted with the county for deputies assigned to patrol there as a supplement to the statutory routine patrol service the sheriff's department provides to all unincorporated areas of the county, Mr. Anderson said.

Initially, that contract was for two deputies per shift, and the township provided two specially marked cruisers for their use.

In 2005, township officials decided to reduce the coverage to one deputy per shift, but both cruisers remained in use. Now each has more than 100,000 miles on it, putting the vehicles near retirement, Mr. Anderson said, and the trustees balked at a request from the sheriff's department that both be replaced - to the tune of more than $30,000 apiece.

Jim O'Neal, the corrections administrator with the sheriff's department, said last week that the department has six deputies assigned to the Springfield substation to cover all shifts. If only one cruiser is replaced, he said, then on occasions when two are working the same shift, they would ride together in the remaining cruiser.

Under the tentative contract, the township would pay the sheriff's department a minimum of $35,000 per month for the directed patrol. Actual costs, including overtime, would be calculated on a regular basis and assessed if the township's fund balance goes below $5,000 at any time.

Mr. Anderson said he has no problem with paying for sheriff's department coverage beyond what other townships that don't have their own police departments pay. "Being that we have 25,000 people, we should be paying for police coverage. We do have an obligation to provide public safety," he said.

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