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Strained Relationship May End in Township Stopping Sheriff's Patrols
COLERAIN TOWNSHIP, Ohio (Brad Underwood) -- Colerain Township is expected to end its contract with the Hamilton County Sheriffs Office next week.
This means regular patrols in the township will stop in January.
It's a decision trustees could make official next week, citing a strain with the county over the cost of the service. Currently there are six Hamilton County sheriffs deputies who patrol the township. That's down from 13 last year because of budget issues.
Colerain Township administrator Jim Rowan says it's time to part ways.
"We will be looking at them (sheriff's office) strictly as a mutual aid partner and will no longer be paying them $376,000 a year," said Rowan.
Rowan says he'll present a plan to the trustees next tuesday. If approved, it would terminate the contract for patrols on January 13th, 2014. Instead of paying the county, $376,000 for the patrols, the township will use that money to promote eight reserve officers to four full time and four part time paid officers.
Rowan says the relationship between the two agencies was intense, and at times controversial but hoped things could change under new leadership.
"We had some meetings in the past year, some of the leadership has not been willing to work on that relationship. The relationship is still contentious, it has created some morale issues and I think it's time for us to take a break," said Rowan.
Rowan says while the "break" may be temporary, the township hopes to work with the county down the road.
"I think a lot of how this separation is handled will determine what our future is together," said Rowan.
At this point the sheriffs department can't stop the plan if it is approved. The contract allows both sides to opt out as long as a 30 day notice is given to the other.
The sheriff's office has not commented on the possible contract termination.