Green Springs facing police shortage

GREEN SPRINGS — Village Police Chief Charlie Horne informed village council members of struggles with staffing during their meeting Monday night. Horne said several part-time officers left the department recently, and he hasn’t had much luck hiring qualified replacements.

Horne said he and Sgt. Amy Dickman were splitting coverage of shifts between the two of them and working overtime as necessary to ensure adequate patrols in the village. Horne also said he has been staying home more often when no officer is on duty in order to respond quickly in an emergency. The chief said there is a critical shortage of police officers across the state of Ohio and indicated he will continue to do whatever is necessary to keep residents safe.

Horne also reported Dickman will be attending a training on interrogation and interviews in the near future. He said six firefighters just completed first responder training and will take a national certification exam before being able to assist in medical emergencies.

Mircea Handru, executive director of the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Seneca, Sandusky, and Wyandot Counties, presented information regarding the board’s upcoming levy in Sandusky County. Handru said the board is looking for support May 7 to continue to provide critical services such as 24/7 on-call counseling, crisis intervention for law enforcement and critical incident stress management for tragedies that may affect a whole school or community.

He warned the ballot language may confuse some voters because it will state the board is putting out an additional tax. This is only because the amount is lower than what now is being collected. The current millage rate costs the owner of a $100,000 home $2.11 per month, while the new rate will be $1.90 per month.

The levy only affects Sandusky County residents, as Seneca and Wyandot Counties approved mental health levies in November 2017.

Village Administrator John Miller said he was looking to hire a part-time employee to read water meters and assist his department in the park and streets as needed. Miller also stated he has hired a contractor to look at the sewer line near Pam Randall’s residence on Ken Lee Drive.

Randall had approached council late in 2018 regarding a sanitary sewer backup in her basement. Miller said a camera inspection revealed the line was not damaged or plugged, but that Randall’s basement drain was actually lower than the sewer line, requiring a check valve to keep the sewer from backing up into her basement.

Councilman Bill Young said the Seneca County Park District Board of Directors was planning on holding a meeting in the village later this year. He said the meeting would be at 2:30 p.m. Aug. 13. The board is interested in taking a walking tour of the village park to learn about the history of the park along with upcoming needs.

The next council meeting is set for 7 p.m. April 1.