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East Liverpool revisits police finances

EAST LIVERPOOL — Seven months ago, voters said no to speeding cameras within city limits, and the fruits of the decision has landed on city officials.

In addition to Auditor Marilyn Bosco’s announcement that they would see $100,000 less from the state as a result of those cameras in 2019, Police Chief John Lane announced his department now is receiving a $1,200 monthly bill for maintaining the city’s body camera system from a sister company of Blue Line Solutions, which held the traffic cameras’ contract.

Originally that money came out of the traffic camera proceeds, but that has ran out, he told the city’s Finance Committee.

That is just for managing the data on the 12 cameras, which were bought with camera money for $20,000.

Other entities may handle their own data; however, they have made sizable investments in on-site servers to handle the job.

In other police-related activity, two of the three members of council’s Finance Committee announced support for bringing one of the two furloughed officers back in the absence of “Moose” Ramsey, who recently retired.

Hunter Maze and Jay Lane, the chief’s son, were laid off earlier this year due to finances.

Another longtime officer, Shawn Long is on administrative leave pending a criminal probe into alleged inappropriate conduct with a minor.

It is unknown whether it is still paid and is near conclusion as of Tuesday.

However, First Ward Councilman Ray Perorazio told those present, including Lane and city Safety-Service Director David Dawson, that he was advocating for one of those furloughed officers to return in Ramsey’s absence and if Long couldn’t return, the second officer as well.

Perorazio announced his intent to bring it up Monday at council.

Collegue Jeff Kreefer concurred, and committee head Fred Rayl asked Auditor Marilyn Bosco for some updated budget numbers from the department, which currently employs 16 officers including the chief.

In recent weeks, East Liverpool, which is working with a skeleton crew, has had a shooting and home invasion robbery.

Rayl particularly is interested in overtime costs and unemployment payouts especially with vacations looming.

“If this budget hinges upon those two gentlemen, then we need to close it down,” Perorazio added.

After a 15-minute executive session for pending litigation, including Bosco, Lane , Dawson and Law Director Charles Payne, the meeting concluded with no further action.

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