Donation provides funds for police in Boardman

BOARDMAN — The township police department and trustees announced two new safety initiatives during the trustees meeting Tuesday.

An unexpected donation from the estate of a deceased Boardman resident will provide armor for Boardman police vehicles, police Chief Todd Werth said. Doreen Parilla died in September of 2023 at the age of 81, according to her online obituary in The Vindicator. She was a lifetime resident of Boardman who graduated from South High School in 1960 and from Youngstown State University in 1964. She earned a Master of Arts from Westminster College and then taught in the Austintown Local School System for 43 years.

Following her death, Parilla’s estate donated her house to the Boardman Police Department, said trustee Brad Calhoun. The department sold the house for $173,000, he added.

The funds will be used to keep police officers safe while on duty.

“Chief Werth is looking for some special things that he can use that money for, to honor (Parilla’s) request to provide some of these safety features for police officers.”

Calhoun said Boardman police are using $35,781 from the donation to purchase Angel Armor protective ballistic door plates for the police cruisers. Installation is easy, Werth said, and will provide additional protection to officers inside the vehicles. Werth described the donation as “a surprise.”

The armor will be installed in both police interceptors and unmarked vehicles.

The township also will purchase safety cameras from Grunau Co. pending approval of township facilities coordinator Joe Hladun. The cameras are designated for township buildings.

The amount of the camera purchases will not exceed $23,000.

Trustee Larry Moliterno asked, “Are those just replacement cameras?”

“It’s a whole new system for the whole township,” Werth said. “It’s not just for the police department, but for outlying buildings.”

Township Administrator Jason Loree clarified, “What we are doing is townshipwide replacement of the cameras. Some of the cameras are dead; they don’t work,” he said. “And some of them are not as clear as they could be based on technology, and this is a reboot.”

The new cameras have night-vision technology, will tie into the existing internet system and have greater clarity than existing cameras, according to Loree.

“We will be able to pick up license plates and identify individuals,” Loree said.


Other business included discussion of a liquor license for Youngstown Chocolate (formerly Gorant’s Chocolate) and to accept a donation of an additional lot to the C.T. Graves Larchmont Park Plat. The lot itself is not large, but “by putting it together (with the park) it is salable,” Road Superintendent Marilyn Kenner said.

TJ Keiran, director of zoning and development, updated trustees on the voluntary withdrawal of an application for a group home for parolees in the 300 block of East Midlothian Boulevard after a number of zoning issues frustrated the project. The group home is now a dead issue, Keiran said.

Kenner announced that bids for repaving work will be accepted starting this week.

Keiran proposed a text amendment to the zoning process that regulates car washes, storage units and other businesses that do not generate taxes or provide employment opportunities.

“It is something that definitely needs to be evaluated,” Keiran said. “The trend is prefab buildings,” he added, which uses land that could be used to create businesses that generate employment opportunities. Keiran’s proposed amendment would allow the township to research and regulate what types of business are applying for land use.

Loree shared the drawings made by children from West Boulevard Elementary School about their field trip to Boardman facilities.

“The salt domes were a big hit,” Loree said. Repeatedly, the children drew pictures of the warehouse used to hold road salt. “Road department was the clear winner with the salt dome.”

The trustees next meeting is 5:30 p.m. June 25.

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