SABINA — The village mayor stated he’s asked the police department “to crack down” on nuisance violations such as non-running vehicles in yards and an over-abundance of trash and junk on properties.
“We need to be able to attract people and businesses. We won’t do that with lawns littered with bicycle parts and junk vehicles,” according to Mayor James L. Mongold’s Thursday report to village council.
Mongold added there are times when residents will have problems keeping yards free of junk due to their physical health, and he is OK with working with those people for a solution, and in fact encourages that.
To that end, he asked citizens who are aware of somebody who could use an extra set of hands to reach out to them and assist matters.
New Sabina Police Chief Daniel Hect, now in his fourth week, provided a wide-ranging report to council. On the topic of training, he said Sabina police officers will receive eight hours of training per month through the training platform Virtual Academy.
At no cost to the village, the Sabina Police Department will be associated with a Small Police Department Association course in June at the University of Dayton, the chief said. The course is designed for small police department needs.
The police chief also reported that the department is converting evidence records to a Records Management System (RMS). Presently, evidence information is kept on Word documents which, Hect said, is not a Best Practices.
He explained he wants as much evidence information in an RMS system as possible so it can’t be altered.
Hect spoke about plans for community policing programs, which have a focus on developing relationships with community members. He’s talked with the mayor about the police department sponsoring a season-opening barbecue at the community swimming pool. He also wants to do a monthly pastors breakfast, with details to be worked out.
The chief said he did foot patrols earlier in the day Thursday and “got an earful” from residents, specifically relating to residences believed to be spots for the sale or manufacture of drugs.
Hect has contacted a regional police academy regarding recruiting from the academy. He said he would like to bring some up-and-coming police officers to Sabina, “somebody just out of the academy so we can train them right.”
He wants to improve the professional image of the police station, noting there is WiFi wiring at the station hanging from the ceiling.
The chief expects over time to provide more in-depth data regarding police activity in the village. For February totals, there were 122 service calls, 20 criminal reports, two traffic crashes, 17 traffic stops, 12 traffic warnings, five citations, seven misdemeanor arrests, one felony arrest, an agency assist, two school details, one canine walk-around, and one use of force.
Both he and Sabina Law Director Laura Gibson said the village’s current police policy and procedure manual needs updating, and both recommended Lexipol as the solution. That company provides policy, training and wellness support to public safety agencies.
Gibson told council, “The current state of it [Sabina’s police policy and procedure manual] is not very helpful on a lot of fronts.”
She said she’s gone through the manual, describing it as “incredibly lengthy and not working.”
Gibson, who previously was a prosecutor in Clinton County Municipal Court, said the Wilmington Police Department implemented Lexipol a few years ago, and she thinks it’s been helpful for WPD.
Hect, who is familiar with using Lexipol, said it would be cheaper to go with Lexipol than to take staff time to prepare a new manual.
Council held a first reading on legislation to increase the salaries of the elected offices of mayor and council. If approved, it will not go into effect until the people filling those positions have been initially elected or re-elected at the polls.
The salary of the mayor would be $800 per month; council members’ monthly pay would be $300; and the council president’s monthly pay would be $350.
No one during the meeting said they had an issue with the increase of a mayor’s salary, with Councilman Abe Arnold noting that a mayor should provide at least 20 hours a week to village work, which involves 80 hours a month and thus only $10 an hour.
Arnold did express a reservation about council members’ pay increasing by 50 percent (from $200 monthly to $300). Council’s last pay increase was in 2013, said officials.
Councilman Benjamin Collings, for his part, said, “We want a mayor who does a lot, and we want council members who do a lot,” adding the pay increases are a way of setting expectations.
He said no one really is in this for the pay.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.