There is a clear need for two additional police officers, Chillicothe City Administrator Darin Chappell told a group of city employees and city council members gathered at a workshop Monday evening.
“The number of calls officers are answering is almost always 100-120 each day or more,” Chappell said. “The types of crimes - the seriousness the amount of time needed to handle the call or situation, it is al changed.”
The council took no action on the matter, Chappell said he and Chillicothe Police Chief Jon Maples have been discussing the need for additional officers for some time now and the council should expect the matter to come before them for a vote in the near future. Mayor Theresa Kelly, who was absent at Monday night’s workshop and council meeting support the increase.
“This is something that needs to happen sooner than later,” Chappell said. “We cannot wait until the next budget year, we need to move forward as soon as possible.”
Chappell estimated the city will need to use $30,000 for the hiring and training processes for two new officers, that was not budgeted for this year. Maples agreed that the department would need an additional $90,000 to $95,000 in next year’s budget to pay the salary and training costs for two new members of the police department, one which they hope to be a detective who will focus on drugs
“Let’s be honest. There are drug users, drug dealers and people who abuse their children in Chillicothe,” Chappell said. “We have to do more to protect our residents and fight these crimes.”.
Currently, the police department is made up of 14 full-time officers, including a school resource officer and detective, one part-time officer, Maples and an assistant police chief.
Chappell also updated those at the workshop on some local street projects. He said. recently the contractor who did the work on 1st and 2nd streets was in town and agreed work crews would return this spring and put an additional 1 1/2 inches of asphalt on those streets. Second Ward Councilmen Wayne Cunningham said there needed to be a solution to drainage issues in that area, and Chappell agreed and said the city would work on fixing those issues.
During the regular meeting, by a vote of 4-0 (Councilmen at Large Tom Ashbrook was absent), the council accepted a bid from Vision Upfitters, Inc., not to exceed $54,457.94 for the purchase and installation of all necessary decals and equipment for five 2020 Ford Police Utility Interceptor vehicles. The bid also includes $700 for freight charges for the vehicles. Maples noted the vehicles were still being built and it would be five months before they were ready to be on the streets of Chillicothe. He also noted the bid is expected to be less than the quoted amount, as the department is hoping to use some of their newer equipment, which they received through grants, in the new vehicles.
The council also voted 4-0 to pass an ordinance to accept an agreement with Allgeier Martin to oversee the construction phase of the Litton Road Project, at a cost of $45,000. That project covers Litton Road between Trenton and Mohawk roads. That project includes a Litton Road from Trenton Road to Mohawk.
The design and bidding phases of the concrete project on South Mitchell Road will also be handled by Allgeier Martin at a cost of $95,000. The work will take place from the railroad tracks to Ryan Lane.
The council also approved having Allgeier Martin to handle the design and bidding phases of the South Mitchell concrete street project. The work will take place from the railroad tracks to Ryan Lane. The cost of the design and bidding phase is $95,000.
City Clerk Roze Frampton also announced that pet license renewals were being sent out with this month’s utility bills and are due back to the City January 1, 2020. Fees from the license go to the Livingston County Humane Society. Frampton noted anyone interested in taking part in a committee to examine pet ordinances should contact City Hall.
The next council meeting will be at 6:30 p.m., on Nov. 12 at City Hall.