Liberty Township would benefit from contracting for additional deputies, said Delaware County Sheriff Walter Davis III.

Liberty Township would benefit from contracting for additional deputies, said Delaware County Sheriff Walter Davis III.

Davis addressed township trustees and about 20 residents on June 21.

Trustee Curt Sybert said a four-year-old survey of township residents showed they were not interested in paying for more law enforcement services.

He also said the amount of property taxes generated in the township should provide for more law enforcement coverage than what is provided.

Davis said his budget is subject to the approval of county commissioners, whose funds also are tight in this economy.

Resident Tom Rainey said that the economy and criminals' awareness of Liberty Township has changed significantly.

"We enjoy the greatest services of most townships parks, roads and emergency services. It seems unlikely the county commissioners are going to do anything more, but I firmly believe if we need to take a little bit away from other services here to pay for dedicated deputies in this community, that is the need of the moment," Rainey said.

Township residents attending previous trustee meetings have cited concerns about increased home burglaries and theft from parked cars in their residential developments.

Trustees also described the lack of sufficient police protection as a "threat" to the township at their Feb. 22 strategic planning meeting.

Davis provided trustees with an analysis of the calls for service that occur in the township.

"Thefts have always been an abundance of our calls for service in this community," Davis said. "The numbers of incidents are high, and they show an increase in theft of credit cards, identity theft and theft from vehicles. We also receive a large amount of calls from thefts from the business district, including shoplifting and gasoline drive-offs."

Ten percent of the county's burglaries occur in Liberty Township, Davis said.

Twenty-five percent of the county's thefts from parked vehicles occurred in Liberty Township, as well as 20 percent of stolen vehicles.

A 14-percent increase in burglaries occurred in the township from 2009 to 2010, he said.

Delaware County covers 445 square miles. The sheriff divides the county into seven districts and provides one 24-hour deputy patrol per district.

Liberty and Concord townships make up district 6, with 60 square miles and 20,000 residents, Davis said.

In 2009, District 6 received 8,000 calls for service in the township, Davis said. Calls included business and home alarms, barking dogs, drug traffickers, domestic violence.

When deputies respond to calls, they are not available for proactive service, which is "being ahead of the curve looking for crime before it happens," Davis said.

Davis said the township could subsidize the cost of additional deputies and get residents and homeowners associations involved in community watch programs.

Four additional deputies to the township would cost about $250,000 annually. Davis said having two additional deputies would make a big difference in proactive law enforcement.

For more information call or e-mail the sheriff's office at (740) 833-2886 or community@co.