GOSHEN TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WKBN) – Voters covered by the Goshen Police District will consider more funding to help the department’s equipment and personnel.
The department has 16 officers on the beat, including Matt Beck, with a decade of experience. One of his routine check-ins is at Roberts Country Store to make sure everything is OK. The police district has a new levy on the ballot for the first time since 2006.
“You know, what’s going on is we are taking from the savings account to pay the bills, you know, our income doesn’t cover our bills anymore,” said Chief John Calko.
Calko feels the November vote is critical. The department is funded solely by property taxes.
It covers Goshen and Green Townships, plus Beloit contracts it for protection. The district serves around 8,000 people.
This 1.3 mill additional levy would be the first millage increase since the 1990s.
“Everybody sees that price of gas is going up, price of milk is going up, everything’s going up. And it’s the same thing for us. You know, police cruisers are expensive,” Calko said.
Goshen has seven cars that average 30,000 miles per year. The district did not buy a new cruiser this year with money short. It’s at minimum staffing, paying overtime to cover the shift when somebody calls off or gets sick. It would like to hire more officers and pay the ones it has better.
“Officers, basically, are like used cars today. You know, we are a commodity that every agency wants,” Calko said.
Officers have been wearing new body cameras since April. Those were paid for by the state.
Goshen voters will see members of the police association before election day, encouraging them to vote for the levy, so it can keep providing its level of quality service.
“We want to be, you know everybody to know us. We just don’t want to be out there arresting people and writing tickets. That’s not what we’re here for. We’re here to help the community and we want to keep on doing that,” Calko said.
The levy is on the ballot in Goshen and Green Townships. Beloit does not vote since it pays the police district for its coverage.
If the levy passes, it would only run for five years.