Navarre to discuss road patrols in Jerusalem Twp.

Kelly J. Kaczala

        Lucas County Sheriff Michael J. Navarre will appear at a Jerusalem Township Trustee meeting on May 24 at 7 p.m. to discuss the end of road patrols unless the township can raise enough funds for the service.
        Navarre sent a letter to trustees on December 6, 2021 informing them it costs $750,000 annually to provide round the clock road patrols to the township.
        “He offered a number of options,” Trustee Mark Sattler told The Press on Wednesday. “Previously, he offered us a deal and only charge us half a million dollars to put a sheriff in our township 24-7.” 
        Sattler said it was not a good deal.
        “It’s the responsibility of the county sheriff, to provide sheriff coverage in the unincorporated areas. There’s a number of funding sources that we pay, such as sales taxes and income taxes on residents who live in the township but work in another community.”
        Trustees responded with their own letter to Navarre on April 26 outlining the importance of continuing road patrols. 
        “It is our understanding based on the opinion of Julia Bates, Lucas County prosecuting attorney, that the primary statutory duty of a county sheriff is to preserve the public peace in the county. The term, `preserve the public peace’, is not defined by statute. The prosecuting attorney’s opinion explains that under a narrow interpretation, patrols of county roads is not mandatory, even though this narrow definition does not comport with modern law enforcement practices,” states the letter.
Police protection
        “Your own website states: `In each of the 88 counties of Ohio, the sheriff is the chief law enforcement officer,’ continues the letter. `His primary duties are to provide common pleas court services and corrections on a countywide basis along with full police protection to the unincorporated areas of the county.’ However, the sheriff also maintains full police jurisdiction in all municipalities, townships and villages. So, as a professional, life-long law enforcement officer in a position of law enforcement leadership, you personally endorse an approach that does not conform to modern law enforcement practices? Such a position causes stakeholders to wonder what could cause a county sheriff and county commissioners to adopt a position that is not compliant with modern law enforcement services. We offer the following points for consideration:
        •Jerusalem Township residents pay a considerable amount in Lucas County property taxes and fuel taxes;
        •Jerusalem Township residents pay a considerable sum in Lucas County property taxes. Approximately 14.46 percent of these property taxes come back to Jerusalem Township for local township services to residents. However nearly twice as many (27.90 percent) of our residents’ property tax dollars go to Lucas County with 51.57 percent to schools and the remainder to the Metroparks and the Port Authority.
        •Traditionally, Lucas County tax revenues have paid for various services, including law enforcement and road patrols for Lucas County Townships. In fact, Jerusalem Township has provided a substation to the Lucas County Sheriff Department for use by sheriff deputies for over 30 years. If Lucas County now plans to “carve-out” selected law enforcement services to Jerusalem Township, it seems only fair that Lucas County begin returning to Jerusalem Township, that portion of county revenues collected from our residents that has always funded these law enforcement services.
        •Many Jerusalem Township residents work outside the township and pay local taxes to the municipality in which their employer is located. As Jerusalem Township does not have a local income tax, none of the employer municipal tax is returned to Jerusalem Township. Neither Oregon nor Toledo municipal tax departments would agree to provide information to Jerusalem Township government on the number of Jerusalem Township residents paying employment tax or the amount collected from Jerusalem Township residents and retained by these municipalities. Therefore, while we have been prevented from quantifying the number of Jerusalem Township residents and collected amounts, we submit our assertion that many of our residents do indeed pay local taxes and receive no benefit from it.
        •Jerusalem Township will soon be burdened with a new 911 dispatching expense that is estimated to exceed $40,000 annually.
        •Jerusalem Township is a community of 2,895 people occupying approximately 1,100 residences. Our township accounts for an extraordinary small portion of your sheriff dispatch calls. To threaten to charge Jerusalem Township a six figure sum annually to respond promptly to emergency calls and to provide some amount of preventative road patrols appears to fall short of what citizens should be able to expect from a modern law enforcement agency.
        •It seems extremely unfair to even consider burdening our township residents with a large additional cost to cover sheriff deputy law enforcement services when all of our residents already pay Lucas County sales taxes, property taxes, fuel taxes and many also pay local income taxes in the municipality in which their employer is based (none of which ever makes its way back to their township of residence) when there are so few incidents requiring law enforcement services.
        Therefore Jerusalem Township declines to impose an unreasonable and unaffordable tax on our residents to pay the amount you have requested. The township asks the Lucas County sheriff to comport with modern law enforcement practices and continue to provide the services paid for by our residents’ tax dollars.”


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