The Ross Twp. police department has added four new full-time positions following the passage of a levy in November, which allowed the department to boost its ranks.
Three new full-time police officers and a full-time detective will be on duty Jan. 1, according to Captain Jack Tremain.
“We jumped on it…,” Tremain said. “The residents indicated this is what they want. This will give us more patrol personnel on the streets on days when we have the most calls for service. We’ll still be supplementing with part-time personnel, but this will give us some latitude to provide better coverage for the township.”
He said the department posted the positions both internally and externally and interviewed 10 candidates. All of the “new” personnel were already working on the staff part-time.
The new full-time cops include:
• Detective Mollie Johnson, who has been with the township since 2010, serving the last five years as the department’s detective.
• Art Brickles, who has 35 years of law enforcement experience and has been with the township since 2016.
• Tom Brill, who has 17 years of law enforcement experience and has been with the township since 2016.
• Bryan Rogers, who has served on the Kettering SWAT Team and is a certified police sniper. He has been with the township since 2016.
The November levy request will bring in a total of $782,882 to the police fund. It was for a replacement of the existing levy — to capture current property values — and an additional 1-mill.
Township Administrator Bob Bass warned before the levy passed that a failure could threaten the department.
“I think that’s a pretty dire picture,” Bass said at the time. “I don’t know if it would be possible to keep the police department going without income. We’ve lost a good portion of our general fund to the tax cuts that Gov. (John) Kasich put in. It’s just not like the old days when the general fund can handle everything.”
The average price of homes in the township is $194,000, so homeowners are now paying about $88 more a year for added police protection, according to the Butler County Auditor’s Office.
Tremain said the department is very grateful for the vote of confidence from their residents and it bodes well for the future.
“We feel these candidates bring many qualifications that will enhance the ability of the department in moving forward to serve the citizens of Ross Township in the most efficient, effective, and professional manner possible,” Tremain said.