New Albany News

Break-ins prompt surveillance of pool parking lot


Plain Township trustees approved a resolution June 19 to spend $3,500 to install two surveillance cameras in the Plain Township Aquatic Center parking lot off Swickard Woods Boulevard.

Trustees considered the issue because of two reported break-ins June 17.

New Albany Interim Police Chief Greg Jones said police took reports about three car break-ins June 17.

The first was reported at 106 E. Main St.

Jones said a person broke the front passenger window of a car between 1:15 and 3 p.m.

Nothing was reported missing from the vehicle, he said.

The other break-ins occurred at the Plain Township Aquatic Center parking lot about the same time.

Jones said the front passenger windows of both vehicles were broken. A purse was missing from one and nothing was taken from the other, he said.

Jones said installing cameras can help stop crimes if the cameras are monitored 24 hours a day.

If the cameras capture video, that also can deter criminals and can help catch them in some cases, he said.

"If you see someone suspicious and they call us, you can catch them in the act," Jones said. "If the quality of the video is good and the placement (of the cameras) is right, you can help catch them.

"It may not stop a crime from happening but it can lead to an arrest or the recovery of property and it can prevent future crimes from happening."

Jones said citizens can help deter criminals by keeping valuables out of sight.

"If a person walks up to a vehicle and sees a clean car and nothing of value visible, they are less likely to break in and incur the risk of getting caught," he said.

Jones said as the weather warms, the police department takes more reports of break-ins.

"We're entering the season where there seems to be more problems when the weather gets better," he said.

In other business June 19:

* Trustees renewed the township's insurance contract with Medical Mutual of Ohio.

Township Administrator Ben Collins said the township was able to reduce its expected monthly premium by increasing the employer-funded deductible from $3,000 to $4,000 and increasing prescription co-payments.

He said the township was expected to pay $53,823.09 in monthly premiums this year. With the changes, it will pay $49,423.42 monthly in premiums.

Collins said the township will keep the same coverage but rates decreased because two fewer people are on the plan this year.

* Trustees agreed to lower firefighters' salaries by 0.75 percent to compensate for an increase in the portion of their pension contributions the township picks up.

A new state law will increase employee contributions to the Ohio Police and Fire Pension Fund by 0.75 percent each year for the next three years. Active firefighters' salary contribution rates will increase from 10 percent to 12.25 percent.

The pension increase will take effect July 1.

Collins said items such as workers' compensation and Medicare are paid as set percentages of payroll.

By reducing salaries, the township would reduce its overall payroll and the amount paid out for workers' compensation and Medicare.