The Boardman Police Department is doing a pretty good job, according to the findings of a police department advisory committee.
Boardman City Councilors Jill Pambrun and Randy Yates formed the advisory committee last May in response to several complaints about the department. They and other city councilors rode along with officers and conducted interviews. They also sent a questionnaire to city residents to learn just what people thought about the police department.
Pambrun presented the findings during Tuesday night's city council meeting. Turns out, most people think the officers are doing a fine job, although there were a few criticisms.
Of the 60 or so people who returned the committee's questionnaire, a majority said they were satisfied with the police department, and the department has shown improvement over the past three years.
Respondents also said they wanted to see police coverage in the city 24 hours a day, which is not always the case now, and they preferred officers get involved in the community.
A small percentage of the surveys said officers followed vehicles too closely, wrote too many traffic tickets and sped in residential areas.
Pambrun, the chairwoman of the committee, said of the department's seven officers, two are coaching children's sports and one is the president of a local car club.
"Perhaps this misconception lies in the fact that they (citizens) do not recognize the officers when they are not in uniform," Pambrun said.
Pambrun said the committee had six recommendations for the police department:
n Increase the police department's repair and maintenance budget.
n Strive for police coverage 24 hours a day.
n Continue the practice of individual cars for each officer.
n Encourage, but not require, officers to be involved in the community.
n More publication of the police department's community outreach efforts.
n And police should give more positive acknowledgment of the law-abiding public.
In other business, the council approved the Port of Morrow's decision to ask the U.S. Corps of Engineers to transfer about 50 acres of Corps land to the port for development.
The land is west of the Port of Morrow office and is the site of a city maintenance shop and two underground collector wells that supply some city water.
Port Manager Gary Neal said a congressional delegation was needed to move the request through Congress.