LAKE TOWNSHIP -- Fourteen votes -- that was the margin of defeat in May for a Lake Township Police Levy. The issue is back on the ballot for the Nov. 6 election, reports News 11's Dick Berry.
It's a $2.9 million levy generating $500,000 a year. Supporters claims they did a good job of getting their message out in May, but they hope for a different outcome this time around.
There hasn't been any new money for the Lake Township Police Department since 1989.
Back then, the department handled 4,000 emergency calls a year. That number is now up to 13,000. The budget is stretched and so is the staff.
Some officiers are even doing non-police work around the station.
"The officers are maintaining their own cars more than they ever have -- including the older fleet. We're doing the brake and oil changes," and cleaning toilets, said Police Chief Mark Hummer.
School safety is also at stake. If the levy fails, resource officer Steve Poiry will be pulled out of the Lake School District and put on full time road patrol.
"Times have changed. There are real threats out there and threats do come to school sometimes," said Officer Steve Poiry.
If the levy passes, Poiry stays in school to protect students from danger.
"They know, No. 1 it's comfort level. And No. 2, if something were to happen they know if they were to do something, there would be an officer there right away," said Lake Middle School Principal Lee Herman.
Lake Township will also hire a full-time officer and a couple of part-time detectives. Approval of the levy wiil cost the owner of a $100,000 home $89 a year.
"We are asking for a minimum increase so we can to maintain and enhance frugally the service we provide now," said Hummer.
One thing won't change: Officers will still service their cars and clean the toilets.