Seneca County village disbands police department

Seneca County village disbands police department
(Source: WTOL)

BETTSVILLE, OH (WTOL) - A village in northern Seneca County no longer has an active police department. But village officials said it is actually better for the community.

The small village of Bettsville has had a recent problem filling the ranks of their all part time police department. At maximum, the department was supposed to have six officers, but the village was averaging two or three part time officers in recent years.

"We're kind of like a stepping stone, you know, and then they want to go on to something bigger. Which is great for them and their career and everything, but it was getting harder to have coverage in town," said Bettsville Mayor Gary Harrison.

Last June, the village voted to phase out their police department and instead rely on the county sheriff's department for patrolling.

Earlier this week, village council officially disbanded the PD.

Now, instead of sporadic part time, a full time sheriff's deputy will patrol the village 40 hours a week. And the cost to pay for the deputy's services is much lower than operating a village PD.

"Yes, because we don't have to pay for the training, don't have to pay for gas, or anything with the cruiser. All we have to do is pay for the deputy to be in here, and all the other liabilities are on them. And we think it was kind of a no-brainer, and it seems to be working out quite well for us," said Harrison.

Last year, when the village began phasing out their police department, they donated all of their police equipment to other local police departments.

Now their only police cruiser is in the hands of the village fire department.

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