SPRINGFIELD TWP. Springfield Board of Trustees members welcomed a standing room only crowd at a special meeting Jan. 30 as newly hired Police Chief Jack Simone was sworn in by Trustee Dean Young.

Police chiefs from a variety of cities were on hand for the swearing in. Family, friends and colleagues also congratulated Simone.

Simone’s wife, Melissa, pinned his badge. Simone spoke to the crowd. He said it was an exciting day for him and it gave him pleasure to see so many of the Copley Police, Springfield Police, community members, friends and families there. He thanked the Copley Police Department for its support through the years he worked for them. He thanked the trustees for the opportunity to lead and be part of the finest police department in Summit County.

“I have been so very blessed in my life to have people who have both inspired me and influenced me along the way,” he said.

Simone spoke about how important the support of family is to the success of a police officer. The hours, the odd shifts, the stress, the missed holidays, the missed birthdays and everything else that goes with the job that takes a toll on families. He said he has had a supportive family his whole career, his sons, Nicholas, Jeffery and Michael. His wife, Melissa, he said has been a wonderful woman, wife, stepmother to the boys and a great friend.

“Whatever has put me her tonight is a product of many people that have gone out of their way for me,” he said.

Simone committed himself to the officers and command of the Springfield Department to empower them to be successful and advance in their careers.

“I will give all I can to see that you are properly trained, equipped supervised and supported,” he said. “Some of the best ideas come from those in the field and will listen to your concerns and ideas.”

He said he is a resident of Springfield Township and that he is committed to the residents.

“Springfield is my town,” Simone said. “My kids attended school here. My church is in this community. It is truly an honor and a privilege to stand here before you, assuming this role.”

He read from a letter he received in the mail from a former sergeant of the Copley Police Department. It stated, prepare your new department for the future. Train them and believe in them. Take all decisions to God first. Then move on with what you have learned from prayer.

“As we take on this new chapter, we do so together. I am honored to be your new police chief,” said Simone.

Cuyahoga Falls Police Chief Jack Davis said, “(Simone) is a great guy. I think they selected well. Definitely big shoes to fill. Dave (Hoover) was an excellent chief and Jack (Simone) will make an excellent chief.”

“We want him to know he has our support and anything he needs from us we are happy to help him out,” said Akron Police Department Maj. Mike Caprez.

Norton Police Chief John Dalessandro said they are right next to Copley and he has known Jack (Simone) for almost his entire career.

“We worked on our dispatch center together,” Dalessandro said. “He is a great guy. He will do well for the township.”

After the swearing in, the trustees recessed for a reception and resumed the meeting to attend to township business. A motion to pay the sum of $4,840.87 to the law firm of Mazanec, Raskin & Ryder Co., LPA for legal services rendered to represent Springfield Township in litigation against the Ohio Public Entity Consortium for claims of violation of laws involving the Township medical and hospitalization plan was approved.

Young explained the total amount of legal fees for the consortium, which involved more than 145 communities, were $179,000 and the amount approved was the township’s share. It is expected that the township will receive a settlement of about $45,000 for the improper behavior of the company.

The trustees approved entering into an agreement with the Green Fire Department which will act as host to a FEMA-2019 Assistance to Firefighter Green Regional Accountability Application Grant. The township fire department is approved to purchase fire ground wireless accountability system components for Springfield firefighters. Springfield Township’s costs for participation in the grant will be $4,422.50 payable to the City of Green, which represents 10 percent of the township’s proportional costs of the system totaling $44,225.

Also approved was a motion to enter into an agreement with Gatchell Grant Resources for grant writing services representing Springfield Township’s interest in a 2019 AFG-Green Regional Accountability Application Grant hosted by the Green Fire Department. The Township agrees to pay to Gatchell Grant Resources an administrative fee of 8 percent of the award total, to a maximum of $3,000, if an award is received. The grant writing fee of $695 has been waived.

It was approved for the Fire Department to submit the application for the 2019 FEMA-Assistance to Firefighter Grant for the purchase of firefighter fire station diesel exhaust system, firefighter health screening, and the upgrading of current self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). The grant total is estimated at $250,000 with the 5 percent township match totaling $12,500. The FEMA-AFG reimbursement totals $237,500.

Trustees approved for the township in enter into an agreement with Gatchell Grant Resources for the grant writing services representing Springfield Township’s interest in a 2019 FEMA Assistance to Firefighter Grant. The township agrees to pay to Gatchell Grant Resources a grant writing fee of $695. Additionally, the township agrees to pay an administrative fee of 8 percent of the award total, to a maximum of $3,000, if an award is received.

The board went into executive session to discuss hiring or the appointment of a public employee or official and discuss bargaining agreements and employee grievances.

The next regular meeting will be held at 6 p.m., Feb. 13 at Town Hall, 2459 Canfield Road.