HUBBARD, Ohio (WKBN) – Well over 100 people attended a town hall meeting Thursday night with questions and comments for Hubbard Township trustees about how their community will be protected.
At this point, we still don’t know what the trustees’ decision will be. Whether they’ll choose to stick with their own police force or move forward with a contract with the sheriff’s office.
But one thing is certain, many of the township’s residents have concerns about the direction the trustees may be leaning toward.
“His people have Hubbard Township on their shoulder. Their priorities are Hubbard Township,” said resident Kevin.
One by one, community members walked up to the microphone asking township trustees questions about what will become of their police department next year.
“We have invested since 1978 in the community of the Hubbard Township Police Department. The investiture is there, we can’t let that investiture go,” said resident John Bizub.
Voters passed a levy last May supporting their local police force. But trustees say even when those dollars start coming, it won’t be enough to keep the department running.
Trustees told the crowd they have a drafted, but not signed, contract with the Trumbull County Sheriff’s Office, which they say would save $200,000.
“We have the right to go back against the contract,” said trustee Fred Hanley.
“All of you up there are supposed to be taking in information from the public or the township people, and your opinion is pro one side and not open-minded on all sides,” said resident Bill Colletta.
The administration’s contract with the police union expires at the end of the year. Right now, negotiations are at a standstill.
“You still sit up there and make us look like we’re the problem. That’s not fair and it’s not true,” said Ptlm. Mike Orr.
“There’s been stubbornness on both sides. I’m not gonna blame it all on these guys,” said trustee Rick Hernandez.
“I was put on this earth to protect and serve and will continue to do so until I draw my last breath. I would love for that to be in Hubbard Township,” said Det. Mike Begeot.
On Friday, the police union has a fact-finding session scheduled with the trustees. It will take place in executive session.
Update: The results from Friday’s fact-finding session will not be released until early next year. The fact finder is expected to issue his report on Jan. 3.