Canfield officers spread levy information
By Amanda Tonoli
Members of the Canfield Police Levy Committee and Canfield Police Department have dedicated themselves to passing a five-year, 3.9-mill police levy on the November ballot.
“It’s very rewarding for me to see we have everyone in this agency embrace the importance of this levy and our community,” said police Chief Chuck Colucci.
Colucci said his team has been working diligently on disseminating levy information to ensure a well-informed public.
The city does not have any police levies.
The need for this levy stemmed from a series of cuts from city revenue made by the state.
This issue affects the department, Colucci said, because the police department accounts for nearly 65 percent of the general fund, which lost nearly $1 million it usually receives from the state. The cuts were in the state’s Local Government Fund, inheritance tax and investment income.
The levy will generate $750,000 annually – the owner of a $100,000 home will pay $137 each year – specifically replacing the loss in the police department’s budget.
“[The levy] will allow us to maintain the high level of service our community expects,” Colucci said.
In addition to the day-to-day duties, including dispatch services, traffic enforcement and overall patrols, officers participate in a number of community outreach programs, including mentoring in the schools and vacation house check – officers check the exterior of a home six times a day while a resident is away on vacation.
A community-funded resource officer acts as security within the Canfield school system, as well.
The department has 14 full-time and two part-time officers excluding the chief.
Officers are helping plan and run four separate scheduled neighborhood forums late this month and early October. The forums are by invitation, separated by city section.
Those who are not able to attend will be able to catch the second round of police outreach through an informational mailing, highlighting what the levy will do to continue the police department’s professional growth.
Throughout October, off-duty officers will stop by each home in every neighborhood to provide information and answer questions.
Colucci said it’s important to interact with residents, and he encourages those with concerns or questions involving the levy or any city matter to contact him by calling 330-533-4903 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
“We’ll do what I think is best for the department and the community,” Colucci said. “And I believe this [levy] is that.”
Resident and known city watchdog Frank Micchia said as someone who voices his disagreement when he sees fit, he actually agrees with the levy.
“The Canfield police do an excellent job, and they are always there when needed,” he said. “This issue is so important, and I do support it. ... They’re a dedicated bunch and always willing to go the extra mile to get it done.”