Cash-Strapped Police Force Cuts Overnight Shift

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The cruisers won't leave the lot at the Franklin Township Police Department overnight anymore.

"So if we needed anything, somebody broke in in the middle of the night, somebody broke in, we always think of that you know,"  said resident Shirley Bauer.

If Bauer needs something, it won't be a township officer that responds.

"So I'm down four officers and a total of only six officers to handle three shifts, do the math, that just doesn't work,"  said Police Chief Allan Wheeler.

Wheeler says he was forced to cut third shift.  Three of his officers are injured and one is on military leave.  He must keep those positions open, taking the force down to six. 

Hiring extra help isn't an option because the township is beyond strapped.

"We'll lose $5,398,000 in spendable revenue,"  said Fire Chief Richard Howard.

Howard explains that's how much the state is taking away over an 11 year period, from 2010 through 2021. 

That's because townships no longer get personal property taxes. 

Another big loss is through a deal they signed with Columbus regarding the casino.

"Supposed to get 12% of the corporate net profit,"  said Chief Howard.

The actual amount came nowhere near what was projected.

"You're looking at about $304,000 instead of $552,000, that's a pretty big miss,"  said Howard.

Chief Wheeler says overnight emergency calls will now go to the sheriff's department. 

Other reports will have to be assigned to the next shift. 

The chief isn't happy about this but feels helpless.

"We are hurting,"  said Wheeler.

The fire department is trying again for a levy in the fall.  Chief Wheeler says a police levy sometime in the future may be the only option for his department also.