Police training center planned

WEATHERSFIELD — Township officials are in the process of planning for construction of a $500,000 multi-jurisdictional training center for police departments throughout the state.

Township Administrator David Rouan said at Tuesday’s trustees meeting about $200,000 — mostly in grants — already has been raised for the building that would be used not only by law enforcement but also for community purposes.

“The center could be used for community purposes and also training purposes for our local police,” he said, noting some training could focus on reversing the county’s opioid crisis.

A goal is to have the building completed within two years.

Trustee Chairman Gil Blair said the center would be constructed at the park property off state Route 46 and would house classes and training for different police departments throughout Ohio.

Blair said the township received word the state is providing $150,000 from the capital budget after local officials went this summer with Regional Chamber of Commerce to Washington, D.C.

He said the building would have a main area for classrooms as well as a stage.

Rouan said the building is part of discussions on shared services with other communities such as Niles and McDonald. The township already shares a prisoner transportation vehicle with Niles.

Efforts are being made to not duplicate services in neighboring communities, such as park events.

Officials also met this spring with Niles officials about possibly partnering on park events and the potential for forming a park district and sharing in future costs. Blair said discussions on the shared services are very preliminary.

In other business, trustees:

• Heard from Sarah Boyarko and Lauren Johnson of the Youngstown / Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce about work being done on the U.S. Route 422 corridor project in the area north of Youngstown into Girard with plans to also include Niles and Weathersfield for future development and growth;

• Asked the county engineer’s office to lower the speed limits on Chestnut Street between Main and Ashland streets and Warner Avenue between Ashland Street and Carver Niles Road. They are now posted at 55 mph.

• Promoted Lou Ronghi, retired McDonald police chief, from part-time to full-time police officer, hired Thomas Martin as a part-time officer and reassigned Todd Zickefoose from full-time to part-time officer;

• Heard from resident Mary Lou Flere of people with riding lawn mowers blowing the grass onto the roads or into drains. Officials said police can cite people for this;

• Approved a contract with YPS Integrated Systems for security and fire monitoring for two years at $1,038.