The Put-in-Bay Police Commission met at 6pm this evening to continue addressing South Bass Island safety concerns. Opening discussion focused on the contractual arrangements for police service between Put-in-Bay Village and Put-in-Bay Township.
Township representatives Chris Cooper and Greg Dobos pointed out the unsatisfactory police presence on Middle Bass Island. According to Chief of Police Kimble, Middle Bass does not have a full-time officer; a Put-in-Bay officer has been on duty at Middle Bass Island four times this summer season–compared to six times last season. Put-in-Bay Police respond to all service calls from Middle Bass Island.
The finer points of debate included the Township’s consideration of contracting with the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department instead of Put-in-Bay Village. Commission member Craig Cox pointed out the cost factor roughly doubled for the Township in this scenario, and that there would not be an overall significant increase in police presence in Put-in-Bay Township–including Middle Bass Island.
As presented in the Police Commission meeting of 19 July 2022, Mr. Cox reaffirmed the Village priority was to implement a systemic approach for staffing, equipment priorities, training requirements, and appropriate housing. Mr. Cooper confirmed the Township remains open to negotiations about services and costs, even as it pursues the introduction of a new local levy for the Township’s police budget.
Spokespersons from The Bird’s Nest Resort and The Island Club emphatically announced their desire and willingness to support adding police officers to aid in safety and security of their guests. They, and others in the audience, also strongly encouraged a unified approach by the Village and Township in pursuing the best possible solutions for the island community at large.
Put-in-Bay Property Association member Kathi Spayde asked Mayor Dress when local business owners would participate in the public hearings. Ms. Dress responded the Put-in-Bay Chamber of Commerce had been notified of the Police Commission meeting schedule–1st and 3rd Tuesdays at 6pm in the Town Hall.