LIBERTY Panel to help pick new chief

The committee will discuss police department issues with chief candidates.
LIBERTY -- A five-member committee will be part of the process in selecting a new police chief.
Township Administrator Darlene St. George said during Monday's trustee meeting that the new chief will be selected by Aug. 1.
Candidates are being reviewed by the Ohio Chiefs of Police Association, hired by trustees to investigate turmoil in the police department.
St. George explained that the OCPA will pare the number of applicants and present a small number to the committee.
On committee: The committee will be made up of township Trustee Patrick Durina and Robert Faulkner, head of labor-management relations for the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Other members will be selected by the OCPA, Liberty Business Association and clergy.
It was the OCPA that performed an organizational review of the police department. One of the conclusions was that then-chief Michael Pilolli should resign. He did resign and became a captain on the force.
St. George said those candidates recommended by the committee will go back to the OCPA for background investigations and then be forwarded to trustees for final selection.
The township doesn't know the names of those who have applied to the chief's group for consideration, the administrator said.
Targeted issues: During the OCPA report to trustees, the issues of labor-management within the department, racial profiling and the force not communicating with those outside the township should be addressed.
St. George said the issues will discussed with chief candidates as part of the interview process.
Also on agenda: In other business, trustees decided to place a 1-mill, five-year fire renewal levy and 2-mill, five-year police renewal levy on the November general election ballot. Clerk John Fusco said 1 mill generates $160,000.
Trustees also entered into a contract with Ohio Governmental Financial Management Inc. of Columbus to study township revenue to determine if it's receiving all it is entitled.
Ohio Governmental will be paid $5,000. It will also receive 18 percent of any revenue it generates for four years.
Barbara Varanese, company president, said communities don't receive all they are entitled to because financial formulas are difficult to understand.
Trustees agreed to buy a thermal imaging camera from Fire Force Inc. of Cranberry, Pa., for $20,055. Fire Chief Bob Catchpole said the camera will be delivered in a week or two. It allows firefighters to easily locate people during a fire.
During the meeting, fire Capt. Roger DiFrangia was recognized for his retirement after 321/2 years of service. DiFrangia is the former fire chief.

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