Columbiana County Sheriff Ray Stone expressed disappointment last week that Fairfield Township trustees had dropped efforts to contract with his office for extra police coverage.
Fairfield trustees said they were unable to find another township to partner with them to help pay the $65,000 per year needed to pay for the cost of assigning a deputy full time to patrol both townships.
We're disappointed, too. Many rural homeowners would probably be interested in finding an economical way to increase sheriff patrols in their area.
A levy to pay for increased sheriff's deputies has been used before. Knox Township voters supported a levy to finance the cost of two deputies, but township officials repealed the levy when, due to wage increases, it no longer garnered enough to support two deputies.
But two or more townships could pass levies and then partner to share the expenses of extra protection. Voters countywide would probably not support such a levy because residents of cities and many villages have their own police departments which they are already supporting. A levy in the unprotected townships where police protection is needed most would probably be successful.
Perhaps more townships should consider this option. With the recent increase in home break-ins, especially in rural areas, township trustees might be surprised to learn how much homeowners would be willing to pay for added protection.