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Green City Council mulls policing contract with Summit County Sheriff

Brian Lisik
Suburbanite correspondent

GREEN  Green City Council will have its third and final reading Nov. 24 of a proposed $9.4 million contract renewal with the Summit County Sheriff’s Office.

The proposed policing service contract was discussed at Council’s Nov. 10 regular meeting.

Councilman-At-Large and public safety committee chair Dave France said the proposed three-year contract, from Jan. 1, 2021 through Dec. 31, 2023, will cost the city $9.4 million – or just more than $3 million per year. France detailed a breakdown of “what we are getting for that,” including 19 deputies’ salaries, benefits and equipment; a school resource officer; a direct indictment officer; a sergeant; six vehicles; radios; and dispatching service.

“In 2021, that total cost was $3,037,853,” France said. “For $3 million a year, it’s a good program for the community of Green.”

Mayor Gerard Neugebauer agreed.

“They do a great job and are a great value to the city,” Neugebauer said.

Law Director Lisa Carey Dean noted that the proposed contract cost does not include projected records management for body camera evidence, given that the city only added body cameras for deputies two years ago.

Councilman Rocco Yeargin asked how the new contract cost compares to the city’s current contract with the Sheriff. Finance Director Steven Schmidt said the contract calls for a 2.5 percent increase in 2021 and 2.8 percent increases in 2022 and 2023, due to increased sergeant and dispatch hours.

Councilwoman Barbara Babbitt asked if the contract allows for the addition of more deputies if the city so chooses. Neugebauer said that the city could do this, since it now has a cost-per-hour for additional deputies.

Mayor’s report

No legislation was passed at the meeting, but Neugebauer made a number of announcements, including the cancellation of an in-person Christmas in Central Park celebration this year and the opportunity for residents to register their homes to be placed on an interactive holiday light display map; the opening of Raber Road Nov. 18, part of the Massillon Road North construction project; and the decision of Diebold Nixdorf to move its headquarters from Green to Hudson – with Green receiving a diminishing scale of tax returns for five years as part of a Summit County revenue sharing agreement when a company moves from one Summit County municipality to another.