Township PD reports busy January

CALCUTTA — St. Clair Township police started the new year with a little less than 200 reports as January activity statistics were presented Tuesday during the township trustees meeting.

Police Chief Brian McKenzie presented the monthly figures, totaling 198 reports the first month of 2018. Included in the count were 62 arrests, 61 total incident reports, 48 traffic citations and 27 traffic crash reports.

The rest of the breakdown for January consisted of nine incidents/documentations, six reports of drug activity, six thefts, six warrant checks/services, five fraud reports, three DUIs, two child abuse reports, two criminal damaging, two disabled vehicles, two investigations, two juvenile problems, two towed vehicles, two traffic stops, two vandalism reports, one accident, one ambulance, one assault, one domestic violence, one drug overdose, one harassment, one menacing, one missing person, one noise complaint, one receiving, one stolen vehicle, one report of an unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, and one welfare check.

McKenzie said the January count for 2018 is around the same amount as in past years.

Meanwhile, in other police-related matters, the chief provided an update on the status of a new police cruiser the township ordered last year. He informed trustees the car was sent to the factory and is in the process of being built.

Also, in taking questions from the public, Doug Blaner asked McKenzie the status of donations as the township looks to acquire a new K-9 unit to work in tandem with, and ultimately succeed, current officer Axel.

McKenzie said the department reached its goal in acquiring the new dog along with a new car, but stated the new vehicle is behind due to maintenance issues. McKenzie said the department has received a large amount of support from the community, and also added that donations are still being accepted.

In addition, Santa Clara Estates resident Paul Anthony publicly thanked McKenzie and the police department for a recent arrest following an armed robbery that took place last fall.

Anthony, a retired Midland police officer/councilman who also previously served as village administrator for Wellsville, expressed his appreciation for the department and thanked the trustees for providing the department the help it needs.

“I think there’s more people out there that do appreciate the good that the department does, especially for its size, and I’m proud to be a part of this community,” Anthony said. “And I think you gentlemen (the trustees) deserve some accolades for providing them with the resources that’s necessary to fulfill their duties.”

McKenzie, who had temporarily stepped out of the room, returned and thanked Anthony, acknowledging he heard his comments.

In other business:

— In his report, road supervisor Scott Barrett provided a follow-up on two calls received from Trustee James Sabatini at the Jan. 23 meeting — a mail box issue asked about by a Lisbon Street resident and a landscaping material situation on Winston Drive. Barrett said he called both residents, leaving messages. He had not received a return call by meeting time.

Also in his report, Barrett reported township crews were ready again Tuesday for an anticipated winter storm expected to hit the area Tuesday evening. He stated all trucks are ready to be used, and stated one vehicle that was scheduled this week for maintenance had its appointment rescheduled in anticipation of the weather.

Barrett also reported 300 tons of salt was ordered from salt provider Cargill, but said it would not be available for another 10 days.

— Trustees approved the reading of the bills, which totaled $84,805.04. The breakdown consisted of $37,363.21 in EFT vouchers, $24,949.19 for total payroll ($4,996.78 for road department, $18.497.89 for police, $238.29 for administration, and $1,216.23 for withholdings), and $22,249.62 in total invoices.

— Trustees approved a $1 per hour raise for the township’s road department, determined following an executive session that took place at the conclusion of the meeting. Trustee Chairman James Hall said this is the first increase for the road crew in two years, and he complimented the employees on their performance.

“It was time,” Hall said. “They deserve a pay raise because they saved the township more money than people probably know for all of the work they have put into the roads.”

The next trustees’ meeting is noon Feb. 20 at the Township Administration Building on Pugh Road, Calcutta.