BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – You can expect to see a greater police presence in Mill Creek Park, thanks to new agreement between the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office and the MetroParks Board.

Metroparks Police are joining the county Council of Governments (COG) for dispatching. The officers who had been assigned to park dispatching will now be on the roads instead.

MetroParks Police Chief Jim Willock says the agreement will make for a safer park system.

“Our part-time police dispatch for us currently. It’s going to free them up to be in the park more, allow us to provide better services to users in the park,” he said.

Greene says Mill Creek’s radio equipment already works with the regional dispatching system, so the changeover will be relatively easy. And, the dispatch COG is gaining more customers. The sheriff says more agencies on board will be able to drive down costs to individual agencies.

“To free up money for that particular agency, possibly for additional equipment or possibly additional manpower, and it’s also every agency that joins the COG defers money for the COG itself,” Sheriff Greene said. 

The MetroParks will pay about $184,000 a year for the dispatching.