From one side of his mouth Perkins Township Trustee Bill Dwelle adamantly declared he had no vendetta against the township police department or its leadership; and from the other side he said he’s thinking about eliminating the department and having the Erie County Sheriff’s office patrol the township.
There’s just no ring of truth.
We don’t want to discourage any local official from seeking alternatives that might reduce costs while maintaining services, but we think Dwelle’s idea is DOA. A preliminary look shows the cost of a switch from the local department to sheriff’s patrols would not generate any substantial savings. Furthermore, the township is, and has been, more than big enough to need its own police department.
Dwelle also complained about a proposal to explore alternatives for building a new police station that would house the Perkins and Sandusky police departments. He said he wasn’t brought in the loop on the discussion soon enough.
Dwelle was comfortable keeping his sheriff’s policing proposal from his fellow trustees, but it is not acceptable to him that they might be reviewing other alternatives. Dwelle also appeared to want to put the kibosh on the regional policing approach that a combined police station represented by stating in a public meeting that Sheriff Terry Lyons was upset by the prospect. Lyons said he had no such concerns.
It is not the 1960s of Dwelle’s heyday. Local governments face shrinking revenues and increased demands.
Nor is this a one-man show. The township’s future belongs to the residents and businesses in the township and it is the board of trustees — not just Dwelle — that will map out that future.