Colerain police plan for life without Hamilton County sheriff's deputies

COLERAIN TWP, Ohio - Colerain Township police have been aided by Hamilton County sheriff's deputies for the past 25 years.

That partnership is most likely coming to an end because of budget constraints put on the sheriff's office.

Hamilton County Commissioners are forcing the sheriff's office to cut $4 million from its budget. Those cuts mean patrols in townships like Colerain will soon come to an end.

Right now, Colerain Township has 56 officers patrolling its streets, 18 of which are sheriff's deputies. Soon 11 of the deputies that have been patrolling in Colerain Township will be gone. The sheriff's office says its deputies will be phased out of the townships, and won't be gone all at once.

"It's something that's going in throughout the state of Ohio. It's something we're dealing with as seriously and rationally as we can," said Hamilton County Chief Deputy Sean Donovan.

Tuesday night, Colerain Township Police Chief Dan Meloy laid out his plan for how he hopes to keep the public in his community safe.

"We have to be a little creative and innovative to make it work," said Meloy.

Meloy's plan was approved by trustees Tuesday and will be implemented over the next five years.

The plan includes hiring 14 reserve officers. Meloy says the reserve officers will go through the same training and have the same qualifications as his full-time officers.

Meloy says he'll choose from the pool of reserve officers when a full-time position opens up.

"It's a year-long job interview, and if they're good we'll give them an opportunity, if they're not we'll identify that and move on to the next candidate," said Meloy.

Also as part of the plan current officers agreed to several concessions. Officer will no longer be guaranteed step raises. They'll also pay 3 percent more of their health care costs.

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