Beginning in April the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office will end free patrol service in some townships. Sheriff Simon Leis Jr. has said requiring townships to pay for the patrols is how he is handling a $4 million budget cut ordered by county commissioners.
The cuts for mean that Leis will pull 22 of the 150 deputies currently assigned to patrol duties throughout Hamilton County.
The largest impact will happen in Colerain and Green townships. Both townships — which also have their own police departments — chose not to pay for the additional deputy patrols. As a result, 11 deputies are being pulled from patrol duty in Colerain, while six deputies are being pulled in Green.
Leis told commissioners he wasn’t sure if the 22 deputies affected by the changes would be laid off. Some or all of them might be able to fill other positions within the Sheriff’s Office.
Some free patrols are continuing temporarily. Patrols in Crosby, Harrison and Whitewater townships — which involve 15 deputies — will continue until 2015. Leis wants to give the small, rural townships more time to find money to pay for patrols.
Also, the Sheriff’s Office will pick up the tab for limited patrols in Anderson, Colerain and Sycamore townships until 2015. After that time, all county-paid patrols in townships will end.