Hubbard names ‘Officer of the Year’
HUBBARD — Police Sgt. Dominic Pagano, an 11-year member of the Hubbard Police Department, was named “Officer of the Year” for 2022 by the department.
Pagano was recognized for his work and service to the community by police Chief Bob Thompson at Monday’s Hubbard city council meeting. Thompson said he did not make the selection but the 13-member department submitted who they thought should receive the recognition.
He said Pagano was described by his peers as “helpful with a giving nature, and good for the morale of the police department and the city.”
“He has shown promising qualities as a leader and completes projects. He always asks for feedback on things he can change or improve on. He is proactive and will take time out of his schedule to help others. He has done extraordinary work for the department. Anytime he is asked to do something it is done,” Thompson said.
Pagano, of Hubbard, said he serves as afternoon sergeant and previously was a patrolman for the department.
Mayor Ben Kyle said the county prosecutor’s office also has recognized the work of the department and its staff, including Oakley, a police comfort dog.
Thompson said his officers are also to be commended for their recent work in tracking down information on the individual who made threats against the school and to keep it safe. A teenage girl was arrested Friday in connection to the threats.
The district went into lockdown March 14 due to threatening text messages about weapons. A video was investigated by Hubbard police, who determined there was no further threat and advised the district.
Information uncovered by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Crime Lab led to the girl’s arrest. He said Hubbard was assisted by Hubbard Township, Brookfield and Cortland police.
Council President Bill Williams said training of officers has helped them handle such incidents.
“They knew what their job was and they kept our community safe,” he said.
Thompson said city officials are discussing getting license plate reader cameras for use in the city. He and Kyle said no decision has been made.
Logan Harrah, sales manager with Flock Safety, said the license plate reader cameras are not speed enforcement cameras but are used for license plate recognition to help eliminate crime and help police.
He said they work with law enforcement agencies, sheriff’s departments and schools to provide evidence for them to use, with the cameras taking pictures of vehicles coming into a community.
Harrah said the cameras are able to not only get pictures of license plates, but also make, model and color of a vehicle, bumper stickers, window stickers and bike racks. He said the cameras do not identify people and are not used for traffic enforcement.
“Many communities place the cameras at entry points because of crime more likely coming into the community. Any vehicle that drives into Hubbard’s jurisdiction, the police can check to see if it is tied to the National Crime Information Center. Police can check to see if it is a stolen vehicle or involved in an Amber Alert.” Harrah said.
Harrah said nationwide 2,500 communities use the cameras, with 150 in Ohio and five in the Youngstown area.
Auditor Michael Villano questioned the costs involved.
Harrah said cost is $2,500 per camera per year with a $350 charge for installation.
He said cameras cover one to two lanes in the same direction.
Thompson said the cameras would be used for point of entry of vehicles coming into the community at busy intersections.
Kyle said more research will be done before a decision is made on the cameras.