MADISON VILLAGE, Ohio – The Madison Village Mayor wrote an open letter to the community to share his belief that the police department should be dissolved.
Mayor Sam Britton said that although it is a difficult decision, it is the right one at this time.
According to the letter, about 31% of the general fund is spent on the police department right now. Combined with money from the levy, there is a yearly budget of just over $650,000. There are only 3 full-time officers now, when there should be 6 officers to be fully staffed.
To be fully staffed, it would cost more than $800,000 annually, which is money the Village does not have.
The village would contract with Madison Township police who would provide services to the Village for $575,000 each year.
“Madison has a bright future. Partnering with the Township to provide police protection is just one component in moving this community forward,” Mayor Britton wrote.
Kenneth Takacs, President of Madison Village Council, released the following to Fox 8 news as well:
In preparation of the 2016 year budget, it was discussed with the village administration to consider a ‘regional approach’ to our policing issues. In January, 2016, Mayor Britton and his staff discussed contracting the police services with nearby local entities who perhaps may have an interest in such an arrangement.
On February 10, 2016, a report from the administration to the Safety Advisory Group of Madison Village council was presented.
It was determined from those discussions to put forward the contracting plan to all of council and the community. It is anticipated that village council will review the plans and solicit public comment along with holding a public hearing on the plan prior to any legislative action being taken.
Village council encourages public comment and anticipates more council discussions with a hope to resolve the process one way or another within the coming six weeks.
The statement released by the Mayors office, I believe, was an attempt on his part to inform the public of the current state of affairs with the police department and prior to any legislative action.
The ordinance to dissolve the department goes before city council for a first reading on Tuesday February 16th.