Jerusalem Township weighs options for road patrols

Kelly J. Kaczala

        Jerusalem Township is looking into the possibility of the Ottawa County Sheriff or the City of Oregon providing road patrols after being informed by the Lucas County Sheriff that the service will end on Jan. 1, 2023 unless the township pays for it.
        Currently, the township, along with most townships in Lucas County, does not pay for road patrols. The township will have to pay Lucas County $500,000 annually to continue the service.
        Ottawa County has provided a quote to the township to provide the service to the township. Oregon has not yet submitted a cost estimate as of last week.
        “We have indeed looked at Oregon and Ottawa County,” said Trustee Mark Sattler. He said he met with Oregon officials to discuss the matter.
        “I met with the city administrator, the chief of police, and the assistant chief of police,” he said.
Stretched thin
        Weeks later, with still no quote from Oregon, Sattler said he called City Administrator Mike Beazley to find out what was taking so long. Beazley told him Oregon may not be able to provide road patrols at a feasible cost, according to Sattler.
        “He said he needed more time because he was having a hard time making the numbers work,” said Sattler, mostly because the police department was already stretched thin.
        When police are dispatched to a location where there is “a suspect on site,” two officers are required to respond to the call.
        “It would stretch their current staffing too thin to cover our geography as well,” said Sattler. “They would be asking their officers to cover double the area with the same level of staffing.
        “We don’t have nearly the population density in Jerusalem, we don’t have nearly the issues – there is something going on in Oregon every day and every night. We don’t have nearly the events in Jerusalem Township, even though the geographic area is comparable to Oregon. But we have a lot of farmland. If they were to give us a quote, and we accepted that quote, that would provide additional funding to them so they could adjust their staffing. So that’s where we’re at.”
        The township received a quote from Ottawa County, but will not make it public until Oregon also submits a quote, said Sattler. He noted Ottawa County’s quote was less than $500,000.
        “Their quote is based upon not stationing a sheriff here 24/7, but providing a certain number of hours for on-site presence for patrols. They’re not that far away since we share a long border with them. If something happens, they can respond,” he said.               
        Beazley told The Press last week that he is indeed concerned about having the manpower to provide road patrols in the township.
        “The Oregon Police Department’s first job is to make sure Oregon is safe and meets the needs of the residents of Oregon. If we can find a way to help meet the township’s needs in a practical way, we will continue to look at that,” said Beazley.
         “We will continue to work with Jerusalem Township to work through a range of options and we’ll see if something makes sense,” he said. “We recommended that they look at other options as well.”
        Jerusalem Township is one of eight townships in the county to be informed by the sheriff that they will be billed if they want to continue road patrols in their communities.
        In 2020, Lucas County Commissioners, in cutting the budget, noted that the sheriff’s office is not required to conduct road patrols in the townships.


The Press

The Press
1550 Woodville Road
Millbury, OH 43447

(419) 836-2221

Email Us

Facebook Twitter

Ohio News Media Association