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Village Council, Jan. 13— Police to teach safety rules

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In 2014 the Yellow Springs Police Department will continue to work with Yellow Springs schools, with a focus on “Safety Town,” a safety awareness project aimed at grade schoolers, according to Police Chief Anthony Pettiford at Village Council’s Jan. 13 meeting.

“This starts in the kindergarten and first grade,” Pettiford said of the program, which will involve building a replica of Yellow Springs in order to teach young children safety rules regarding walking, riding bikes and speaking to strangers. The department will also continue its contacts with Yellow Springs High School and the McKinney Middle School.

Pettiford gave a short presentation to Council on community initiatives for the department in the new year.

The department also hopes to create a police department Web site.

“I feel that’s where we can get a lot of information pushed out to the public,” Pettiford said, stating the Web site would include an anonymous “tip” button that would allow anonymous reports on suspicious activity.

The department continues to work to upgrade training for its officers, including training on firearms use, CPR, criminal law and Crisis Intervention Training, a 40-hour program to help police officers deal with citizens who have mental health issues. Currently, two officers have completed the CIT training.

“Training is always a priority for me,” Pettiford said.

Pettiford said he is currently finishing up hiring new officers, along with a part-time dispatch position. Upgrading policies is also a priority, Pettiford said.
In other Council Jan. 13 business:

• Council continued a preliminary discussion on goals and principles for the new year, which they will finalize at an upcoming meeting. Council member Gerry Simms reported on his proposed goal of upgrading Council chambers. The project would involve upgrading the Council room so that it can be more easily reconfigured for the various needs of other Village groups that meet there, such as Planning Commission and the Board of Zoning Appeals, according to Simms, who is also recommending new carpet and an upgraded projection system. Simms declined to give the potential cost of the project, which he said had been estimated at anywhere from $3,000 to $30,000. According to Interim Manager Kent Bristol, it has been 22 years since the room has been significantly remodeled.

• Council unanimously reappointed Ellis Jacobs to the Board of Zoning Appeals, or BZA.

• Council approved a three-year lease for 29 acres of farmland on the Glass Farm to Flatter Hereford Farms.

• Council approved a resolution that certifies to the Ohio Public Works Commission that the Village has the funds for its share of the cost of a water system loop completion project. Begun by former Manager Laura Curliss, the project aims to improve fire hydrant flow in the area around the Antioch College campus.

• Council unanimously approved a 1.5 percent cost of living increase in 2014 for Village employees.


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