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Township might hire own police

Fayette Township trustees plan to meet in four weeks with residents to brainstorm about a local police force and zoning regulations.

Tuesday, August 31, 1999

Fayette Township trustees plan to meet in four weeks with residents to brainstorm about a local police force and zoning regulations.

"Things are growing here and these are some things we’ve been discussing," trustee president Perry Brock said.

Before any decisions, though, trustees want to hear from the public – to make sure the township moves in the direction people want, Brock said.

"We don’t want to shove anything down people’s throats, but we’ve had a handful of people ask questions about police protection and zoning laws," trustee vice president Terry Wise said.

"We won’t be holding a township meeting," Wise said. "This is strictly for discussion from the public about these two topics."

The public meeting will be 7 p.m. Sept. 30 at Burlington Elementary. Trustees will plan final details at their regular meeting Sept. 11, Brock said.

The idea of a township police force, as well as future zoning regulations to control growth in the township’s heavily populated areas, surfaced at recent meetings, trustees said.

"We’ve had some people come to ask because we’ve had a few break-ins and robberies," Brock said.

"If we can supply some kind of police coverage without really digging into our budget, then it would help residents," he said.

As an indication of growth, Fayette Township’s budget has increased steadily over the years, Brock said.

According to county auditor’s office records, Fayette outpaced all other townships with $563,416 projected for budget year 2000.

Brock and Wise said trustees will not ask residents for more funding at the public meeting, but will ask for advice.

"There hasn’t been a lot of people question (police and zoning) and we want to know for sure since the township’s growing," Wise said. "That’s why we want to have an open meeting, so people can let trustees know how they feel."

And forming a township police department would require a lot of planning, licenses and probably grant money, so it couldn’t happen in just a few months.

"We haven’t got into it yet to see how much money we would have available for police," Wise said.

The public meeting would be a first step, Brock said.

Trustee Don Hackworth said zoning regulations are second in line of township resident’s concerns.

"But I think we have to look at it because of the residential growth," Hackworth said.