After an overwhelming victory at the polls last week, Sharon Township police officers say they appreciate the support residents showed them.
The Sharon Township Police Department's 4-mill levy on the Nov. 7 ballot was approved 449 votes to 191 votes, or 70 to 30 percent of votes cast, according to unofficial results from the Franklin County Board of Elections.
It will raise $250,000 a year to help supplement the approximately $1 million budget of the police department, township leaders said.
The levy will cost residents $140 annually per $100,000 of property value, according to the board of elections.
Lt. Jeff Tuchfarber said he and others in the department were "elated" to see the results Nov. 7.
"I think (officers) were happy that they feel they are supported by residents," he said. "That keeps their morale pretty high. They enjoy going out and doing their job because they feel supported."
Chief Donald Schwind said funds would be used in a variety of areas and would help maintain staffing levels and manage the upkeep of equipment.
Tuchfarber said one of the most immediate effects of the levy's approval would be on the department's cruisers. Several of the vehicles have surpassed their 100,000-mile warranties, meaning cost increases are on the horizon.
"With the passage of the levy, we're hopefully going to be able to replace some of those -- obviously not all at once," he said. "We usually do a rotation where we try to buy at least one a year. But this year, we're going to try to replace two of them because we're at that high mileage."
Though Schwind had said staffing levels could have been affected by the levy's outcome, Tuchfarber said officers were not worried about their jobs before the election and were not nervous about watching results roll in.
"(Officers) were confident that the levy would pass, and they were told prior that if for some reason the levy did not pass, their jobs were not in jeopardy," Tuchfarber said. "So if there was a problem or issue with keeping jobs, it would come with attrition."
When they did see just how "overwhelming" the approval was, Tuchfarber said, it was a good feeling.
"That just says (residents) enjoy the police department and they approve of the service we provide," he said. "We want to keep that service at the level they expect over the years.
"Hopefully they keep supporting us as long as we're around."