During the most recent Sugarcreek Township meeting, owners of area towing companies voiced their frustrations with the police chief’s decision to cut them from the call list for Sugarcreek.
Rick Parson, owner of Parsons’ Hook Road Body Shop & Towing in Xenia, stood before the trustee board asking for an explanation as to why the chief of police, Michael Brown, decided to cut seven towing companies from the call list and make Sandy’s Towing the one and only towing service for Sugarcreek as of August, 2013.
Sugarcreek Township trustee, Michael Pittman said, “One of the main reasons this was done was because Sandy’s towing has the ability to handle any catastrophic accident that might come up.”
After not receiving calls from Sugarcreek, Mr. Parson called the chief last week to see if there was a problem. “Chief Brown indicated to me that he did indeed give Sandy’s Towing all of the towing business out of the Sugarcreek Township because he felt that they were a big enough company and could handle everything that happened in the Township,” Parson said. “Chief Brown apologized that we were not called and told about the situation but his decision was final. He said that he shook Sandy’s hand and gave his word.”
Chief Brown’s explanation and decision of the police department did not ease Parson’s frustration. The majority of the areas towing companies, like Parsons’, have been serving the Sugarcreek area for over 20 years. They have dedicated their reputations to being available 24/7. If one towing company was not able to handle the crash alone, they teamed up and worked together to get the job done.
“What we are faced with is that we are moving our dispatch to Greene Central in Xenia. The chief felt it wasn’t fair to them to try to keep some kind of rotating call list. It would be easier for them [the call center] if we pared it down to just one towing company,” continued Pittman. “But, we just found about the situation tonight and we are going to look into adding one or two Greene County towing companies to the list.”
Prior to the cut of area towing companies, the Sugarcreek had devised a call list which rotated calls to towing companies allowing business to be evenly dispersed throughout. Even though the chief’s decision affected companies such as Parsons’ Towing, Moorman’s Towing, Hollis Towing and Johnson Towing, who all attending Tuesday night’s meeting, he said that he never received complaints about these companies performances.
“It is my understanding that Chief Brown came from the City of Riverside, where he also cut tow companies from a rotation and Sandy’s [Towing] was given a City contract,” said Parson.
With the change, anyone towed in Sugarcreek by Sandy’s Towing, their vehicle will be towed to Sandy’s lot at St. Rt. 73 and 48 in Warren County. “Why would we send a Sugarcreek Township resident from our courthouse in Greene County all the way to Waynesville to get his/her registration out of his car then all the way back to Xenia to get a claim ticket just so they could drive all the way back to Waynesville to pick up his car? Does this make any sense?” said Parson.
Because of this change, other towing companies are not the only ones that are going to be affected by the change. When utilizing local Greene County towing companies, auto repairs are completed by body shops in Greene County, insurance companies refer work to Greene County, and other businesses are also affected in other ways. By using a Montgomery County business, sales taxes are lost, business will be shifted to other areas. “It is important that our tax dollars stay in our county. I personally collect and pay $2-3,000 a month in sales tax,” said Parson.
“Greene County wreckers are perfectly capable of handling any type of crash or situation that happens in Sugarcreek Township. The nice part about having a towing rotation with multiple tows is that if one company is not able to give a fast response, dispatchers can move to the next company instead of waiting on only one towing company,” said Parson.
“If we were able to keep our dispatch here, we would have more control over who we would have towing,” said Sugarcreek Township trustee, Scott Bryant. “With any change, you can’t make everyone happy.”
Chief Brown remained quiet during the meeting and did not comment.
The township trustees, along with the police chief will be discussing this issue to decide which Greene County towing company or companies will be added to the call list.