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East Liverpool losing another officer

EAST LIVERPOOL — As four officers have left the department during 2020, with one more leaving this past week, the revolving door at the East Liverpool Police Department continues to be a big problem.

Earlier this year, patrolmen Jay Lane and Hunter Maze were furloughed, Robert “Moose” Ramsey headed to Liverpool Township and Shawn Long remains on paid administrative leave pending a state investigation into allegations.

More recently, Anthony Savina has given his notice to Chief John Lane for a job in the private sector, leaving yet another hole on an already taxed afternoon shift roster.

Earlier this month, Councilman Ray Perorazio, who is a member of the city’s Finance Committee with colleagues Fred Rayl and Jeff Kreefer, questioned why the two furloughed officers hadn’t been brought back yet and the committee asked Auditor Marilyn Bosco for some updated budget numbers.

According to Bosco’s figures, Ramsey left the city’s employment, resulting in some savings as he was one of the department’s most senior officers.

Through July 16, records show that Ramsey had earned $59,356 total in wages and benefits, meaning that the department should see that in savings and they either hire someone to fill his spot or bring back one of the furloughed officers.

Long still is collecting an East Liverpool paycheck, while the investigation continues. So far, the city has paid out more than $50,000 to Long, including $36,223 in wages, $964 in Medicare and $12,132 for health insurance as of July 16.

In comparison, the city asserts that they have saved $68,429 by furloughing patrolmen Maze and Jay Lane, as all their unemployment costs will be covered under the CARES Act.

Savina’s departure was a more recent development, so he was not included in this public records request. His last day is Aug. 11.

The furloughed officers were the most recently hired, so make significantly less than one of the veteran officers.

According to Bosco, Maze earned $15,319 and Lane $15,913 in wages through their May 6 furlough date. While the city still had to pay into Medicare, life insurance, workers’ compensation and pension plans for the two men, because of their youth both were not costing the city any additional money for health insurance.

The city projected a savings of $68,429 through the furlough of the men, which is only around $10,000 more than the city is spending on an officer on paid administrative leave at home.

Officials deny that they are spending any extra money on either overtime, covering for the manpower shortages, or for the men’s unemployment.

The department currently has 16 officers, counting Long and Savina.

Council meets at 6 p.m. today in council chambers.

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