Even the Oak Harbor Police Department can’t shed the wrath of local vandals.
Over the past two years, the station and connected administration building located on Main Street, have fallen victim to multiple incidents of vandalism. Police cruiser tires have been slashed; feces smeared on the glass of the east door to the police station and a rock was thrown through the window of the police chief’s office.
The situation is causing council to once again consider installing at least two cameras on the building.
“This has come up a couple of times over the past few years,” Police Chief Steve Weirich said of the possibility of beefing up security. But then talk fell to the wayside as other priorities and needs took precedence in budget decisions, he noted.
Police believe they have a possible suspect in a couple of the cases. But they have no solid proof to file charges. At this point, village officials have no alternative but to fix the damage and move on. And damages can be pretty costly to repair.
“That plate glass window in my office is double pane. It cost about $750 to replace. And tires aren’t cheap either,” Weirich said.
The village caught a break on the broken window though. A neighbor standing on his porch for an early morning smoke saw the culprit whip the rock at the window and caught him, the chief explained. “The restitution covered the cost to replace the window,” the chief said.
Village council recently discussed the possibility of moving two of the four cameras installed at wastewater facilities a couple of years ago over to the police station.
If that’s not feasible, the village may have to spring for a new separate system that may help finger future culprits. A cost estimate for new camera installation is being drawn up and will be reported to council at an upcoming meeting.