South Heart starts police departmentThe Stark County Commission agreed to terminate its agreement for extra patrol in South Heart beyond what the law requires per a request from City Council.
By: Betsy Simon, The Dickinson Press
The Stark County Commission agreed to terminate its agreement for extra patrol in South Heart beyond what the law requires per a request from City Council.
Commissioner Ken Zander said Tuesday that the commission received a letter from South Heart Councilman Chuck Andrus requesting a termination of the agreement with the Stark County Sheriff’s Office.
But Andrus stressed to The Dickinson Press on Friday that the council still wants the presence of the sheriff’s office in the community, but this arrangement will relieve it of extra patrol that was negotiated for earlier this year.
Through that negotiation in February, Andrus said the city agreed to pay the county $2 per resident per month for additional patrol beyond what is required. Residency is based on the most recent census.
“Since that negotiation, we have been able to put together a part-time police department of four officers and can relieve the sheriff’s office of the additional burden they took on in February, but we are not excluding the sheriff’s office,” Andrus said. “We’re always trying to do what’s best for the safety of our residents, and we’re grateful for all the assistance we receive from the sheriff’s office.”
Sheriff Clarence Tuhy, who also received the same letter sent to the commission, said it was stated that South Heart would discontinue its payments to the county effective Dec. 1.
“We have not been part of a negotiation,” Tuhy said. “Should we have been? I don’t know.”
Stark County State’s Attorney Tom Henning said that as he understands the law, because South Heart is an incorporated municipality, the sheriff’s office’s only responsibility to the city is emergency responses.
Tuhy asked Henning to draft a response letter for South Heart to advise the council of the county’s position on the matter.
“As far as I’m concerned, I can draft a letter, but it’s going to be signed by the sheriff because he is his own officer and he can let them know that,” Henning said.