A majority of the Lakeview residents in attendance said during the Monday Lakeview Village Council regular meeting that they do not support reactivating a police force in the village.
Councilman Frank Dietz polled those in attendance as to how many were for and against the idea of a police force. Nine were against and two were for.
Pat Parish, retired village administrator, told council he didn’t think they should jump into anything.
“I don’t think we personally need it,” Parish said. “A lot of people who have been coming to talk to me think the sheriff’s office was doing a good job.”
Scott Mohler, Lakeview electric department supervisor, agreed with Parish.
“I really don’t believe we should do this,” he said. “I think if we do (this) you should take your time and make your steps right.”
Mohler continued to say he thinks the numbers for reactivating the police force are incorrect.
“There’s no big crime in Lakeview,” he added.
Councilman Terry Brentlinger said the proposed budget for the reactivation for the police force is $50,000.
That amount would cover 1,440 hours for the first year and an additional 660 more hours the second.
Resident Jim Garver told Brentlinger not to “dictate” to them because he “has absolutely no clue what’s going on in Lakeview” as Brentlinger is a part-time Port Jefferson police officer.
“I don’t believe Lakeview needs a police department,” Garver said. “The county does a very good job. In the past, the police department in Lakeview only watched two bars and that was it.”
Parish said he’d like to see a comparison of the having the sheriff’s office working for the village and the potential police force for the community to look at.
“I think you should put it in front of the people for them to decide,” he said. “Not six or seven people.”
The alternative to reactivating a police force would be to continue paying the Logan County Sheriff’s Office $36,000 annually for part-time coverage.
The ordinance to continue that contract, for three years, which expires at the end of this year, was voted down during Monday’s meeting.
Councilwoman Traci Snyder Gentis suggested Ryan Shoffstall, mayor, ask the sheriff’s office for a one-year contract instead.
Shoffstall said he’s happy people were expressing their opinions so council has an idea of their feelings.
Snyder Gentis concurred.
“This will not be taken lightly at all,” she said. “We will do our best to serve the community as a whole.”
Snyder Gentis said if the new police force comes to fruition it will not be run the same as it was run in the past.
“The people you elected to sit in this seat are going to do their best to do what is best for this community,” she said.
The next council meeting will be Nov. 4.