Sheriff reassures township road patrols will continue

Kelly J. Kaczala

        Lucas County Sheriff Mike Navarre has reassured Jerusalem Township Trustees that nothing has changed about providing road patrols to the township.
        At a Jerusalem Township Trustee meeting in May, Navarre told trustees that deputies will continue to provide road patrols into 2023, although not 24/7 as deputies currently doHe said there would be a deputy in the township 50 percent of the time without charge.
        “He assured us there would be some level of road patrols in the township,” Township Trustee Mark Sattler recalled at a township trustee meeting on Tuesday.
        It was an improvement over his previous decision to bill the township $750,000 annually to continue road patrols due to Lucas County budget cuts.
        Navarre had sent a letter to the township in December stating patrols would end in the township on Jan. 1, 2023 if trustees did not pay the bill. 
        But a letter from Navarre to Sattler and Trustees David Bench and Beau Miller dated Aug. 12 stated that the township was expected to pay for sheriff services or receive a reduction in services, by Jan. 1, 2023.
        “The Lucas County Sheriff’s Office is the primary provider of law enforcement services to eight townships in Lucas County,” states Navarre in the letter. “Two of those eight townships have chosen to properly compensate Lucas County for that service. You are one of six townships that have not, and have indicated you do not intend to provide any compensation.
        “On February 9, 2021, and December 6, 2021, you received a written correspondence from me notifying you that a reduction in law enforcement services would occur in your township unless Lucas County was properly compensated. You have been provided with options for full service, 24 hours per day seven days per week, and partial service. To date, you have indicated that it is your intent not to provide any compensation,” states the letter.
        “This is to advise you that on January 1, 2023, you will see a noticeable reduction in services,’ continued the letter. “The sheriff’s office will make an individualized analysis of each call for service to determine if it involves circumstances that constitute a breach of the peace. Our deputies will no longer respond to non-violent offenses, or incidents where a threat of injury is not present. Your residents will be required to appear in person at our records bureau at 1622 Spielbusch Avenue, Toledo, to make reports. It is also likely that there will be no preventative police patrols in your township.”
        Sattler said he spoke to Navarre on Monday after he received a message to call him on his cell phone.
        “He reassured me that his plan is to have six deputies on a shift. One of those deputies will be assigned to the western townships, one to Jerusalem Township in the east, and four will go to two townships that have contracted with the sheriff’s office for service,” said Sattler at last week’s meeting. ”He indicated that as long as he is fully staffed at six deputies to a shift, there would be a deputy assigned to the east to Jerusalem Township.”
        Navarre also said he fully stood behind his comments made to trustees in the meeting in May.
        “He indicated this letter was sent to all six of the townships who have not contracted with the sheriff’s department. He indicated that perhaps the language in the letter was a little broad. He again emphasized that he stands behind what he told us in May. If there is a high priority call, no matter what, Jerusalem Township will get a response. He indicated there is a five page order that will be coming out. Once he signs that order, he will send us a copy that will be fairly detailed. That order is going to then, provide guidance to his deputies as to how they will be executing their road patrols. We’ll have a chance to review it. He’s offered to come back out and meet with us and residents again.”
        If there is an emergency in the township, “someone will respond,” said Sattler, “as soon as they are available.”
        “There’s a difference between preventative road patrols and emergency response. The sheriff has indicated we will always get a response in a priority situation. He‘also indicated with respect to preventative road patrols, he expects about a 50 percent presence in our township. Oregon would not be out here for preventative road patrols. They would just respond to an emergency situation,” he said.
        The township has a low crime rate, said Sattler.
        “This is a very low crime area. The sheriff averages about three calls per day, which is very low. If a criminal is going to gamble on whether there is or isn’t an officer in the township, just because there is a 50 percent presence, it doesn’t mean that there are certain hours that they are present, and certain hours that they aren’t,” said Sattler.


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