LUCAS COUNTY, Ohio — A big vote could change the way officers respond to calls in Springfield Township, and the timing for this vote also comes after a stabbing and shooting to start the year.
Township officials are looking at adding Lucas County sheriff's deputies to be assigned to provide around-the-clock service to the area.
"It's a big change for the township," trustee Bob Bethel said.
It's a change that could soon be in the hands of voters in a matter of days.
"The police services provided for us right now are through the Sheriff's and that will continue," Bethel explained. "But, it will be expanded, it will be much more like our own police department."
The need to have these services were somewhat forced on the trustees after the sheriff told them services with the department would need to change, at the beginning of 2020.
Bethel says that's not a bad thing.
"We are the largest township in the state that does not have either their own police force or a contract with the sheriff's office. With the size that we are we really need to have our own policing services," he said.
Residents already pay to have officers patrolling the township. Bethel says something like this should have been put forth years ago.
"The plan is for three deputies to be on 24-hours a day. That's what we think we need based on input from the sheriff, with his experience," Bethel said.
He also believes there's a number of positives to approving it.
For example, he said it will result in improved response times to calls, deputies will know the areas they're working in and it would allow for more community-centered work, like school resource officers.
If that proposal is approved, voters would then decide whether to approve money to pay for it during the primary election.
Residents in Springfield Township will be getting more details about this change in policing services over the next couple of weeks.
It is all dependent on if the trustees approve the measure. The vote is happening Jan. 18, at the Springfield Township Hall at 5:30 p.m.