WARREN TWP. - For Warren Township Lt. Don Bishop, the need for a 4-mill additional levy will help the police department return to the level of service residents were used to before state budget cuts.
With five full-time officers, including himself, the department is nearly half the size it needs to provide adequate protection for the township, Bishop said.
"I know we will never return to a full complement of officers, but I believe we need at least two more officers to provide enough protection to township residents," Bishop said.
"We have nine part-time officers, but they are difficult to schedule because they have full-time jobs they are responsible for."
The department now has seven older cars, down from 12 vehicles.
The 4-mill levy is projected to bring in $279,804 per year, according to the Trumbull County Auditor's Office. For the owner of a home valued at $100,000, that would cost an additional $140 per year.
In spite of the township's size, Bishop said the department's call volume is nearly as high as neighboring Warren city.
"We've been able to survive through these tough financial times," Bishop said. "We've done what we could to cut costs. We've had a three-year wage freeze, and it takes new employees five years to reach parity in pay and benefits.
"New employees also have to pay more in insurance costs," Bishop said. "Maximum comp time has been reduced from 180 hours to 120 hours.
The township has not hired a replacement for its retired police chief. Bishop has been doing his own job and the job of the police chief.
"We've been saving by not hiring a new police chief," Bishop said. "We are doing our part.''
Bishop said the department has been able to obtain new guns for its officers without spending any taxpayer money through trades.