As Election Day approaches, Sharon Township police say they're confident residents will support a new permanent levy.

The township has proposed a 4-mill levy on the Nov. 7 ballot that would be expected to raise about $250,000 a year to help supplement the budget of the police department.

The levy would cost residents $140 per $100,000 of property value annually, according to the Franklin County Board of Elections.

Sharon Township's annual police budget is about $1 million, so the $250,000 in funding for the department would be critical, according to police Chief Donald Schwind. The township has 10 full-time officers and one part-time officer.

Police leadership held a series of meetings and forums to explain the new levy, and Schwind said he thinks the message was well received.

"We feel pretty good that our residents understand why we need the levy and that far more than the majority of our residents want to keep their police department and maintain the level of service we currently have," he said. "We feel pretty positive we're going to have strong support from our residents."

Schwind said funds would be used in a variety of areas and would help maintain staffing levels and manage the upkeep of equipment. He said his officers all "enjoy working for the township" and that he hopes residents "believe we're doing a good job for them."

He said although levy failure wouldn't mean a drastic change in service, residents eventually would begin to see slower response times as officers move on and aren't replaced.

"There's not going to be a cut in service; we'll maintain the best we can," he said. "But the response time is going to lower, and we won't be able to maintain the equipment we have. And at some point, through attrition, we may see reduction in personnel."

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