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'High expectations' -- Police chief seeks collaborative effort, open talks with SCSO

Dustin Dassinger, Chief of Police at Dickinson Police Department, shares his expectations of the relationship between his department and the Stark County Sheriff's Office moving forward. Photo courtesy of Dickinson Police Department

As the new year ushered in new leadership at the Stark County Sheriff's Office, Dickinson Police Chief Dustin Dassinger shared his department's expectations for improved relations moving forward.

Dassinger addressed how the two agencies can tackle the problems facing the region together.

"The Dickinson Police Department expects open, honest communication, deconfliction and coordination of resources," he said. "We have to have similar community goals, development of collaborative targeting of identified criminal elements, problem areas and work together on future law enforcement regional challenges."

Lee worked for Dassinger while heading the DPD's K-9 Department. They say they have a great working relationship, which Dassinger hopes can foster a better community policing effort moving forward.

"It is also important to have unification of training, capabilities assessments and development to better prepare us to face the ever-evolving criminal environment and future threats to the community as a whole," Dassinger explained. "The Dickinson Police Department looks forward to working with Sheriff Lee and his staff, and we have high expectations for the Stark County Sheriff's Department in the future."

Lee says the Stark County Sheriff's Department will provide transparent and honest communication and seek to coordinate resources with the Dickinson Police Department under his administration.

"Everything is moving ahead in a positive and exciting fashion," Lee said. "We've already taken large strides in repairing relations between the Dickinson Police Department and the Stark County Sheriff's Office.

For a time the Dickinson Police Department, Belfield Police Department and the Stark County Sheriff's Office shared the same reporting system, but last year that arrangement had to be ceased because of the strained relationship between the Stark County Sheriff's Office and the police department.

"We sat down last week and visited on a lot of topics and are planning on having our administrations meet once a month," Lee said. "We are all here to serve the public, so anytime we can band together and move forward for the good of the common goal is a good thing. It's something that we need to be doing, and I look forward to doing that with them."