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Brookside Signs Contract With Sheriff’s Office

Photo by Carri Graham Brookside Councilman Allan Ketzell II, left, and Councilwoman Wendy Anderson vote against signing a police protection contract with the Belmont County Sheriff’s Office during Monday’s meeting. Also pictured in the middle is Councilman Roger Stewart who voted in favor of the contract. The ordinance was passed in a 4-2 vote.

BROOKSIDE — The village moved forward with a contract with the Belmont County Sheriff’s Office to provide police coverage for the community.

On Monday, Brookside Village Council voted 5-1 to suspend the rules and pass an emergency ordinance to allow Mayor Rich Kurner to enter into a contract with the sheriff’s office. The suspension of the rules was passed with only Councilman Allan Ketzell II voting against. Once the roll call vote was made, the ordinance was passed in a 4-2 vote with council members Robert Thomas, Dennis Kennedy, Roger Stewart and Paul West voting in favor and Councilwoman Wendy Anderson and Ketzell II voting against.

Solicitor Richard Myser said five votes were needed to suspend the rules, and four votes were needed to pass the ordinance.

The contract with the sheriff’s office is for $12,000 per year and replaces the village’s former police protection contract with the Bridgeport Police Department, which provided the village with coverage for $24,000 per year.

The village has been discussing signing the contract with the sheriff’s office since it declined to renew its contract with Bridgeport in July due to a planned increase in cost.

At the end of last month, the Bridgeport Police Department announced it would no longer provide police protection to Brookside beginning Oct. 1. This was due to a notice of termination the village previously sent the department after it declined to renew its police protection contract with them.

“It has been our honor to protect and service the residents and business of Brookside for more than 50 years. We wish only the best for Mayor Kurner and the village council as they begin their new endeavor with the Belmont County Sheriff’s Department,” the statement concluded.

Although the contract was not officially signed yet, Kurner said the sheriff’s office has been providing coverage to the village since the beginning of the month. He said that is also when the 911 contract was transferred to the sheriff’s office as well.

Following the meeting, Myser said the next step is for the contract to be approved by the Belmont County Board of Commissioners.

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