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TRUMBULL COUNTY New group hopes to replace SWAT team



Published: Mon, April 28, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



The sheriff's department had been forced by financial difficulties to lay off 47 deputies.

By PEGGY SINKOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- Members of a newly formed Trumbull County law enforcement association hope to create a SWAT team.

Area police chiefs, who formed the organization a few months ago, say the SWAT team would replace the one the sheriff's department disbanded in the face of layoffs brought on by county financial problems.

The organization's exploratory committee has met twice.

Necessary committee

"I think it's something we need," said Thomas Rush, Warren Township police chief. "There are lots of questions that need to be answered still, and we are in the process of trying to get as much information as we can to find out if it's possible."

The sheriff's department was forced to lay off 47 deputies. It is not known when those employees will be called back to work, Sheriff Thomas Altiere has said.

"I just don't have enough people to have the SWAT team, and I don't even have enough people to even participate in another department's SWAT team," Altiere said.

"We no longer have a dive team, and we no longer have detectives. I'm hoping that one day we will be able to restore these services, but I just don't know when that will happen."

No official name

The new organization, which hasn't been officially named yet, was created to help ease the strain of sheriff cutbacks on the local police agencies. Weathersfield Chief Joseph Consiglio has been named chairman. Cortland Chief Gary Mink and Niles Chief Bruce Simeone say the organization helps the local chiefs network and share information.

The chiefs are also putting together an inventory, so everyone knows what equipment other departments have.

The chiefs are encouraged to bring detectives to the meetings, Warren Chief John Mandopoulos said.

The organization is not associated with the Mahoning Valley Police Chief's Association.

sinkovich@vindy.com




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