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Boardman residents clear about crime-fighting effort



Published: Thu, August 4, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.

Tuesday’s passage of the 3.85-mill police levy in Boardman Township offers a lesson for all local governments seeking additional taxes or renewal of existing ones in these challenging economic times: Tell the people the truth, give them the facts, and then let them decide without threats or intimidation.

Approval of the five-year, additional levy in Boardman was vindication for township government officials, led by trustees Larry Moliterno, Brad Calhoun and Thomas Costello, administrator Jason Loree and police Chief Jack Nichols. Nine months ago, Moliterno et al had to come to terms with the defeat of a 3.85-mill levy. They did — and more. The trustees, Loree, Nichols and others went out into the community day after day, giving residents the unvarnished truth about crime in the township, the ability of the current force to effectively deal with it, and plans for the department and the general fund if the levy were approved.

To be sure, not everyone in Boardman was sold on the idea of paying more for government. But rather than shying away from the critics, or simply ignoring them, the proponents engaged them publicly and responded to every criticism and challenge.

The voters obviously appreciated their willingness to defend the additional tax — as evidenced by the outcome of the special election. There were 4,655 votes in favor, compared with 3,612 against. The margin of victory was greater than the margin of defeat in the November general election.

The 3.85 mills, which will cost the owner of a home valued at $100,000 about $117 annually, will generate $3.8 million a year, all going to the police department. However, trustees will pull back $2.4 million from the department’s coffers that is funneled from the general fund. Even so, the police department will be able to hire 10 additional police officers, one diversion specialist, one advocate, a crime analyst, a secretary, two records clerks and two dispatchers.

Residents obviously want the police force to have the wherewithal to fight crime in the township. The huge increase in the number of drug houses and the criminals they attract have many residents on edge.

‘Public has spoken’

When the results were announced by the Mahoning County Board of Elections, Costello, who is chairman of the board of trustees, offered this observation: “We’ve said Boardman’s at a crossroads and the public has spoken. ... Now we have to fulfill our promises. We’ve laid out our game plan and now we have the ability to implement it.”

Police presence, especially in high-crime areas, serves as a deterrence. Just ask the residents of the crime-infested neighborhoods in the city of Youngstown.

Every time there’s a crackdown involving the police and state and federal law enforcement agencies, criminals go into hiding or flee the city. The goal is to make it so uncomfortable for the criminals that they choose to go to ground or to operate in some other community.

Criminals know when a police department is short-handed. That could be a reason for the increase in crime in Boardman.

Now, the word will go out that the township will soon have the manpower — and the firepower — to go on the offensive.


Comments

1crimelander(122 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

/ The huge increase in the number of drug houses and the criminals they attract have many residents on edge./

Where are the stats to back this up?

I don't deny this is going on, but how does anyone know anything is better or worse compared to whatever year?

Seems easy enough to yell BOO and people jump. The drug house scenario is a big community BOO.

BPD isn't going on the offensive with just +2 officers more on beat.

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2author50(1121 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

The first people that the new Boardman police officers ought to arrest are Clear Channel's Bill Kelly and Dan Rivers. The three Boardman Trustees, the kid administrator, the Mahoning County Board of Fixxed Elections, Farris Adveristing and YES the editorial people of the SPINdicator for the way the people of Boardman were played like suckers they obviously are for passing the so called "Police Levy" on a August 2nd vote. If this election would have been held in November - it would have went down in flames. You have a government watch on your web site - add yourselves to it.

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3dmacker(274 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

I support the Boardman police and believe they are very professional.
That said, if in fact we're experiencing a crime wave here in River City why don't the arrests statistics show that.
Reading the Boardman police blotter, in the newspaper, I find most of the arrests are for shoplifting at the local businesses.
In reading the departments own stats I see they made just over two arrests per officer last year.
"Where's the Beef"?

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4homesobrien(6 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

$10 a month increase in property tax or $30 to $40 per month for a security monitoring system? Hmmmm? That was easy. Thank you voters of Boardman for making the right decision!

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5apollo(1227 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

As if the $10 a month is going to protect your property! It won't. Not that your property was in peril anyway.

The rest of the posters are correct. More property taxes in Boardman with it already losing population will just accelerate that process. More vacant homes, property values plummeting, but don't worry more cops making 85K will make us safer. The police are professional? Some are. How about the 5 who are now convicts? Or the township employees, cops and ex cops who routinely bash residents on the Vindy website?

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6apollo(1227 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

How come all the Boardman crime reports have suddenly disappeared from the Vindy front page?

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7Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

Apollo is your house up for sale yet ??? Looking for more cheap rentals.

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8twentyonetwelve(98 comments)posted 3 years, 1 month ago

Boardman is doomed. In 15 years the entire northside of Boardman will be just as bad as the Youngstown streets off Southern Blvd. All the tax dollars in the world can't stop that from happening. Sell now, while you can.

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