Milan residents question quotas

Departing police chief issued fewer citations, but village leaders say it was no problem
Jessica Cuffman
Oct 12, 2013

 

Milan police Chief Jim Rose’s seemingly sudden departure from his job has left many residents with unanswered questions.

Given that Rose told residents he intended to retire in this small village, why would he leave for another job after serving as the top cop for just two years?

One possible answer: The $30,000 pay increase he’ll see as a deputy chief for Perrysburg Township police.

Even so, residents are asking if politics — particularly disputes over village finances amid declining revenue — gave Rose the push out the door.

The village saw income decline on all levels in the past several years. Residents are left wondering if Rose was pressured to make the police department a revenueproducing entity by issuing tickets to motorists who would have to pay fines levied in mayor’s court.    

Resident Victor Mooney made just such a statement at a recent council meeting, shortly after Rose submitted his resignation.

“For the first time in my 40-plus years here, Milan is no longer the No. 1 speed trap in America,” Mooney said. “Little old ladies are no longer pounced on if their wheels don’t stop turning.

“While there are still many folks in the surrounding area who consistently avoid traveling through or shopping in Milan, the tide has turned,” Mooney said.

“There are still many former travelers who swear when your town is mentioned, relating horror stories,” he said.

Mayor Steve Rockwell has not returned calls from the Register seeking comment.

At the council meeting, Rockwell told residents the police department was not to be a revenue-producing office, and there were no public conversations with Rose on the matter.

But the village’s finances tell an interesting tale.

Revenue in the mayor’s court was cut in half the year Rose was hired, 2011, dropping from about $64,000 to $35,000. So, too, did the number of traffic citations, dropping from 433 in 2010 to 255 in 2011.

Over the three years before Rose was hired, Milan Mayor’s Court raked in an average of about $67,000 a year, also handling an average of about 490 traffic tickets in each one of those years.

At a village council meeting last year, more than 30 residents showed up to support Rose, who suspected his job was in jeopardy.

At the time, Rose declined to say if he was pressured to issue more traffic tickets to produce revenue for the village.

Comments

Whopper2013

The problems with Milan being a speed trap were more serious when Jim Ward was the Police Chief and Cowboy Bickley was the Mayor.

Kottage Kat

Jim would arrest his own grandmother for spitting on the sidewalk
I love Milan, however I have shopped there and bought more pizza in Milan since Jim retired.
Jim was from Norwalk and known before he went to Milan.
Hope the G O B's system does not return

44846GWP

Milan police were known as "Nazi Storm Troopers" when Ward and Bickley were in charge.

Truth2u

One day I witnessed Jim hiding in his bushes with a radar gun and another day behind a tree!

Because of this and the over all gestapo style reputation we as a family seldom went there for anything.

Stop It

Mr. Ward's traffic busts were only exceeded by his ego. He probably 'still' thinks he *OWNS* Milan, OH.

I personally watched him make 3 women cry as he threw them in his jail cell. $100.00 a piece just to get out and go home on bail.When they went to Bickley's court, that was the fine. They just kept it. Imagine how, just that $300.00 in just one plain 'ol summer Tuesday adds up in a small village such as Milan.

The only competition in that regard was Monroeville, Woodville and Republic, OH.

The latter two had much nicer cops, but still speed traps.

Whopper2013

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).