The Ottawa County sheriff is updating policing contracts his department has with Allen and Portage townships.
Sheriff Steve Levorchick recently had a meeting with Portage Township trustees and has been in talks with the Allen Township trustees, he said. His plan, he said, is to review the contracts held under his new leadership and make any changes necessary. That review will include examining hours, compensation rates and other issues.
Levorchick was appointed to the office a year ago, after former Sheriff Bob Bratton resigned to become the Genoa police chief.
The contracts with the sheriff’s office ensure the townships get dedicated attention from law enforcement officers patrolling the areas.
The Allen Township contract first came about in 1987 when township residents said they were willing to contribute to the sheriff’s office budget to guarantee more service in the west end community. The contract specifies 32 hours a week of local patrols. To manage this, the Allen Township shift is worked into the regular rotating shifts assigned deputies weekly. The township spends about $48,000 for the service.
The Portage Township contract, however, was constructed a little differently. The contract adopted in 2005 between Bratton and the trustees created a 40-hour week for the then growing township just east of Port Clinton. Because of that, Levorchick explained the shift stands alone by itself from the daily assignment schedule. That is, deputies bid based on seniority for the position every six months.
In recent years, officials of Genoa, Clay Center and Allen and Clay townships considered the merit of a joint police district. They commissioned a report compiled by the Circuit Rider Management group of Granville, Ohio.
That report found the villages and township budgeted a combined total of slightly more than $1 million for police services in 2008. It also noted that a 5-mill property levy in all four entities would generate about $817,573 a year – about $19,000 more than was actually spent in 2008 for police protection.
To date, the west-end officials have not moved on the proposed project.