Findlay police, fire make service cuts

The Findlay Fire Department will be making cuts, as well.
The Findlay Fire Department will be making cuts, as well.

FINDLAY, OH (Toledo News Now) – The Findlay Police Department released a list Wednesday of services they will be cutting after their levy request failed in November.

The police warned residents there would be changes to their services if a 0.25 percent income tax levy failed in November. They are now going through with the reductions.

Officers in Findlay will no longer respond to:

- Private property accidents
- 911 disconnects or mis-dials
- Peace officer calls
- Shoplifting complaints
- Scams via phone, mail or email
- Parking complaints
- Phone or Internet harassment
- Found bikes
- Lost property complaints

Due to attrition, no one will lose their job, but the department is down to 56 officers – the fewest they've had since 1985.

The fire department will also be affected by the levy failure, and will be making cuts and closing a station.

"I think it's a shame, and I think people will have second thoughts about how they voted," said Robin Visel, a Findlay resident who voted for the levy. "People automatically say, 'I don't want taxes,' but then they don't really think through what that's going to mean…I want all of the stuff that [the levy] offers. Keeping the police protection, keeping the fire stations open, all of the other public services that I think a town ought to have."

Another resident, Pat Bauman, said she was shocked that the levy did not pass. She also voiced her displeasure with the voters.

"We have a lot of people who haven't lived here most of their lives and I don't think they care as much as we do," Bauman said.

She said she is worried about being in a situation where she'll need the police and won't receive help.

Police Chief Greg Horne said the department will continue to respond to major calls, but they had to make cuts to "lower priority calls."

Horne said 56 officers is the lowest the department can go. They need more officers on the streets, so they will be shifting some of the officers internally. They will be cutting down to four detectives, two officers in the drug unit, a court officer, property officer, crime prevention officer, and one parking person.

"With these cuts, this would make the officers available to still do things that we've been doing, such as walk-throughs of schools," Horne said. "I want to maintain a presence in the community and the neighborhoods, so I want [the officers] to still be out looking for things, not to be tied up on calls all the time. I want them to be able to be visible."

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