Guns and money

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110730_2009_Armed_robberyEd Runyan reported in the Vindicator last week that the Geauga Trumbull Solid Waste District is pulling its funding from the Warren Police Department. It had been giving Warren $75,000 per year to pay for environmental enforcement, but are ending the funding due to “dissatisfaction with their performance.”

Funded was also pulled from the Trumbull and Geauga County Sheriff’s Department, but Runyan reports that the solid waste department and the Warren police had a particularly trying relationship over the years because the $75,000 did not completely cover the cost of an officer so that he could devote his entire time to environmental enforcement.

So instead of negotiating a relationship that would satisfy both parties, or assigning a very junior officer to those tasks, we just let the $75,000 slip away. It’s hard to see how this helps and it reminds one of the way we allowed the SAFER Grant to be revoked rather than make the systemic changes in the WFD that might have saved it.

I don’t know whose fault this is — but I do know where the buck is supposed to stop. Shouldn’t retaining as much funding as possible for the WPD be a top priority? Today’s Tribune reports that the Quick Shop at 960 Mahoning Avenue (which is 0.4 mile from City Hall), was robbed by armed gunmen in broad daylight yesterday, for the second time in three weeks. A former clerk was in the store at the time; he said:

“I lived here all my life…and never saw anyone try to rob that store. Something is changing around here.”

After the late December holdup, the owner, Bhadresh Shah, told the Tribune’s Renee Fox:

“I love this place, I am trying to bring my wife here. But, this town is going nowhere, people are getting sick of these crimes and all of the good businesses want to leave because of this,” Shah said. “Too many times, the police show up after the damage is done, we need more cops on the street.”

Many people in Warren think it is time to try something new. Do we have a plan for addressing crime? If we do neither the Mayor nor the Director of Public Safety and Service are talking.

 

Posted Tuesday, January 19th, 2016 under Budget, Crime.

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