Niles Township Board to hold special meeting

Published 1:43 am Wednesday, May 18, 2005

NILES - If you call the Niles Township Police Department and ask to speak to Police Chief John Street, you are informed that he is on vacation.
However according to information received from several community members Tuesday afternoon, Street has either resigned or has been relieved of his duties.
Attempts to reach Street for comment were unsuccessful Tuesday evening.
When asked if Street had been relieved of his duties, Niles Township Supervisor Bill Myers on Tuesday evening denied that Street has been fired and also said Street was on vacation, as did Niles Township Clerk Marge Durm-Hiatt and Treasurer Jim Ringler.
Myers said a special meeting of the Niles Township Board has been called for Monday, May 23, at 7 p.m. at the Niles Township Hall. The meeting, which is open to the public is to discuss the future of the Niles Township Police Department, Myers said.
Ringler added at the May 23 meeting the township board will also be talking about the possible disbanding of the department and contracting police services in the township out to a another area law enforcement agency.
Those same community members who on Tuesday reported to the Niles Daily Star that Street had been dismissed as township police chief, also reported Niles Township officials are in the final stages of negotiations with another area law enforcement agency to provide police services in the township.
Ringler also said it is very expensive to run a police and fire department, and to run a department properly the personnel should be well trained. There should also be a management staff, he said.
Ringler added the township could lose the identity of the area by contracting out its services, because they aren't running it themselves.
Durm-Hiatt added the township does not have a separate millage to run its police department and with the budget cuts happening over the past few years, the amount of money the township receives for police services is less than in previous years.
Durm-Hiatt added the board is committed to having police coverage for township residents and the meeting on Monday will help to determine the future of that coverage.