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Brookside Public Safety Decision Short-Sighted

When an accident happens, or it’s late in the night and you believe an intruder is in your home, seconds count. Having a police officer respond from a few streets away instead of from halfway across the county can make all the difference.

Everyone can agree with that.

But a recent decision by Brookside Village Council flies in the face of common sense. Last week, council agreed to terminate its long-standing agreement with the Bridgeport Police Department to provide coverage for incidents in the village and instead go with coverage from the Belmont County Sheriff’s Department. The move is not being done to increase public safety, but instead simply as a way to save a few dollars.

We understand that Bridgeport sought to increase its annual charge to the village by 50%, but when it comes to public safety, an extra $12,000 should not be the deciding factor.

“There was just no way we could afford it without putting a levy on it somehow, some way increasing the taxes here. We had to do what was best for our residents and citizens here,” Brookside Mayor Rich Kurner said.

Kurner failed to mention that Brookside did receive $110,000 in COVID-19 relief earlier this year.

The Belmont County Sheriff’s Department will do its job in responding to incidents in Brookside, but likely not in as timely as a manner as Bridgeport officers could. Council should reconsider the decision.


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