North College Hill PD ask voters to pass a 5-year levy - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

North College Hill PD ask voters to pass a 5-year levy

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NORTH COLLEGE HILL, OH (FOX19) -

Cities and towns all over the area are gearing up for Election Day on Tuesday.

In North College Hill, voters will see more than just candidates running for office on their ballots, though.

The police department there will ask voters to pass a 5-year, 4.9 mil levy to help get them some upgrades they say they desperately need.

"It's definitely something we need," said Chris Hayes, who has lived in North College Hill his entire life.

Hayes admits, at times, he feels unsafe in the place he calls home.  But, the levy could help make the community safer, especially since they've seen a spike in need for police services.

"Based on our call volume, we are strictly in a reactive mode.  We would like to be in a proactive mode," said Chief Gary Foust, of the North College Hill Police Department.

Foust says through the first six months of this year, calls are up 28%.  The department has 12 officers, and sometimes on two are on duty.  Sometimes, if they're out on a call, citizens calling the department might not get an answer.

"There's many times that we are in a Code Zero situation.  A Code Zero is there are no officers available," said Foust.

The city has seen a $520,000 decrease in income since 2008, as well as decreases in the police department.

But, the levy could help hire more than four officers. 

"It would be a tremendous effect on the community, as a whole.  It would definitely strengthen portions of North College Hill that really need the assistance," Hayes told FOX19.

The levy would create revenue sources to help with police and code enforcement.  That money would pay for things like training, replacing cruisers and community programs, as well as hiring those extra officers, among other things.

The department has tried to cut costs, but can no longer do more with less.

"Without this levy, we are certainly going to see delayed responses in this community," said Foust.

Broken down, you'll pay $147.75 a year for every $100,000 your home is worth in North College Hill.

Foust tells FOX19 this is the first time they have had a police levy up for a vote.

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