Bellbrook City Council met Monday night to discuss the possible merge of the dispatch office and the city received the police chief’s annual report.
The council discussed, during a special work session, the pros and cons of merging the dispatch department. They discussed the fact that other area regions have been discussing the same, such as Kettering and would be making a decision shortly. The council agreed that they would like to use their actions as examples for the needs and betterment of Bellbrook’s needs.
City manager, Mark Schlagheck said, “We are still in the information gathering stage. Before any decision is made on this topic, we will have a hearing and all the public an opportunity to speak.” He continued by urging individuals to come forward with their thoughts on whether to keep the dispatch services locally or to contract with another agency. “We would be happy to hear your thoughts.”
Police Chief Dave Helling provided the annual report of the police department to the council members and detailed the crime rate in Bellbrook for 2012. Helling also provided a warning for all Bellbrook citizens, “Out of the 91 cases (of broken in cars and theft of possession in same in Bellbrook), not one of them were locked.” There was not a reported case of break-in in vehicles that were locked.
It is not only vehicles that are being broken into, is also unlocked houses. According to the Chief, the problem lies with the city’s problem with Heroin. “This area has been hit by Heroin big time.” People are addicted and they look for any way to get the money and taken anything they have to do to get the money for their habit.
“We have caught people with pockets full of change. They take that change and go to a coin machine, dump it in and leave with cash to buy dope,” Chief Helling advised. “By not locking your doors, you are supporting their habit.”
Users are stealing items such as GPS, computers, wallets, money and other value items that are being left unsecure. Not only are they taking the cash, selling the electronics at pawn shops but now they are taking gold to second hand stores such as International Diamond Jewelers for immediate cash. The problem with these second hand stores, according to the Chief, is that these businesses are not required to keep records or notify the police regarding possible theft or assist and recover to the victims. Usually, once the second hand store purchases the gold, they immediately melt it. Even if the police were able to track down the item, it is usually too late.
Deputy Mayor, Mike Schweller said, “Continue to lock your houses and cars. If we keep them unlocked we are going to continue having these problems.”
Bottom line, we don’t live in times that are safe to leave doors unlocked. We may trust our neighbors and feel everyone is trustworthy, but there are always exceptions. When drugs are involved, rules do not apply.
If you have comments or questions regarding the dispatch issue, please contact the City or one of the council members.
The next Bellbrook City Council meeting is scheduled for February 11, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.