Townships search for answers to keep sheriff patrols

WHITEWATER TOWNSHIP, OH (FOX19) - Three townships in western Hamilton County are being asked to come up with the money to pay for sheriff patrols in those areas. Sheriff Simon Leis asked Whitewater, Harrison and Crosby Townships to start paying for the patrols beginning in April, but he has since given the townships a one year reprieve, as long as they are actively working on a plan to raise the funds.

Other townships say their tax dollars should not be used to pay for patrols outside their areas. Whitewater, Harrison and Crosby townships say they do not have the tax base or state money to finance keeping deputies in their area.

If the townships wanted to keep the same level of service they would need to pay for the five deputies and one patrol car each and every year.

"That makes it about $425,000. We don't have that," said Whitewater Township trustee, Lawanda Corman. "All you can really do is come up with a levy. I mean, we have no half a million dollars sitting around somewhere."

Raising taxes in Crosby Township appears not to be an option.

"The people right now, they're taxed to death. They really can't see doing it," said trustee Chris Dole.

Hamilton County Commissioner Greg Hartmann said each township must pay their fair share.

"We can't have somebody living in Delhi that pays into a pot. They pay for all their police service then subsidizing the residents who get these subsidies. We can't give sheriff's road patrols away for free," said Hartmann.

Dole said they aren't getting anything for free.

"We are paying right now. We are paying for this one sheriff," said Dole. "You know we are all taxpayers. We do pay property taxes."

Hartmann said he is working with the three townships to find a solution to how much each can afford to pay.

"We understand the situation that they are in. They are not going to go without sheriff patrols. I'll say that 100% for sure," he said.

Copyright 2012 FOX19. All Rights Reserved.