By danny restivo
Trustees may look to elected officials to change state legislation as part of an effort to create a joint police district with a surrounding township and city.
The topic was discussed during a meeting between township officials and members of Youngstown State University’ Center for Urban and Regional studies Tuesday night at the township’s administration building.
The police department is performing a study on the feasibility of a joint police district among Brookfield, Hubbard Township and Hubbard City police departments.
Dan Mamula is a member of the YSU study team and a former mayor of Struthers. He said state Rep. Sean J. O’Brien of Brookfield, D-63rd, may need to lobby in Columbus for some changes to state law to allow for a joint police district.
“We might need to make some refinements in state laws relating to retirement and who could serve as the legal adviser to the police district board,” Mamula said. “These are the types of things we’ve got to figure out.”
If the joint department comes to fruition, Mamula said a board of trustees would oversee the district and be required to have legal counsel.
Brookfield Police Chief Dan Faustino and Mamula agreed the refinements, including how officers would cite people under township and city codes and which union they would fall under, are minor concerns at this point.
“No matter what, if anything changes, we have to make sure we maintain the same level of service or improve upon it,” Faustino said.
Brookfield Trustee Gary Lees said questions in funding for the district also would have to be answered. He said Hubbard and Brookfield townships fund their police through levies, while Hubbard city funds its police through an income tax. He said all entities must agree upon a feasible way to approp- riately finance the district.
The study also will include examination of police manpower, each department’s individual calls for service and their locations, staff budgets and population figures. The study is expected to be completed this summer.