Saturday, September 12, 2009


Dear Citizens of Elyria

The Elyria Police Patrolmen’s Association would like to ask for your support of the newly proposed tax initiative that will be on the November ballot.

We would like to provide you with information regarding the current status of the Elyria Police Department and why we ask you for the support needed in November.

Last year we asked you to support Issue 15, a tax renewal, which saved jobs, and ensured the safety of our community. Since last year, the nation’s economy has dropped to an all time low. These lows have effected many communities nationwide, to include Elyria.

The City of Elyria has been struck with an abundance of lay-offs in the community. Local businesses, the city, and the county have layed off employees. Those of you reading this may also have lost your jobs.

These lay-offs have decreased the city’s income, which is where the general fund and the Police Levy are heavily funded. Auditor Pileski has shown us the monthly decreases over the last year. With these decreases the budgets of the Elyria Police Department and any other department funded from the general fund have suffered.

During the first wave of cuts made throughout the city, the Elyria Police Department lost over twenty civilian support employees. Those civilian duties are now being carried out by officers, which reduces the amount of time officers can dedicate to police duties like patrol, and investigations. Recently we have closed our jail, losing 12 Correctional Officers, 3 Correctional Supervisors, and one computer technician. All of these cuts were necessary to avoid losing Police Officers on the street.

Our problem now comes to us as the possibility of losing an additional 17 to 25 police officers if the tax initiative does not pass in November. The reason for this is that we have no more room to cut in our department without losing officers on the street.

The police department has been one of the most fiscally responsible departments in years past, even reallocating our finances to offset financial deficits in other departments in the general fund. We will not squander your hard earned money.

Our union is making contract concessions and currently working on other options to cut costs. As tax paying employees for the City of Elyria we too understand that paying higher income taxes can be a burden on our budgets. We ask you to consider making a tough decision in order to maintain your current level of police services.

We are currently working with 64 patrolmen in the EPPA. Of these, 9 are in the detective Bureau, 4 are in Narcotics/NIU, there are 2 working full time in Wilkes Villa (paid by Lorain Metro Housing Authority), one full time officer at the Elyria High School, and one full time officer in the Violent Fugitive Task Force (paid for by Federal Grant money). That leaves us with 47 patrolmen on the road to handle calls. Unfortunately we have taken on more responsibilities in the records offices and in the jail. There has actually been a “No overtime” order at EPD for some time. Any overtime worked at EPD has been and will be paid from Federal Grants. The reality for you as a citizen is that we only have, approximately 5 officers working the road at one given time, except for the short overlap between shifts. These are the officers that you see patrolling, answering calls, taking accidents, conducting traffic stops, and following up on citizen complaints.

Our city Charter authorizes council and the mayor to have a police force of 102 officers. We have never been at full-authorized strength. We have been on a continual downward trend of not replacing these vacant positions. There are many reasons for this occurrence, but the fact is we are working hard with what we have. If our police force is reduced by 25 patrolmen, then we will have only 22 patrolmen left to work the road patrol. With this reduction and our crime rate, it is not possible to police the City of Elyria with 22 patrolmen.

A very real possibility would be the closure of our detective Bureau, Narcotics, and NIU. This would put another 13 patrolmen on the road, but would leave an unimaginable overload of open cases that need investigated. Our calls for service have not reduced and our violent crime is increasing. We are not asking for you to hire more and more officers and to increase our budget, we are asking you to help us maintain the level of service and safety we currently have.

We read the local blogs and listen to your comments in passing while we work the streets. We understand your concerns and are available to you to answer questions. There have been many concerns regarding our longevity pay. In a nutshell, our longevity pay has been part of our salary package for many years. It is considered when negotiating for yearly increases and was considered during our last contract by an arbitrator when his decision was given for our pay package. Other cities that do not have longevity or have a lower longevity rate then we do have a higher base pay. So instead of us having a higher base pay, we have longevity. Our contract negotiations committee is currently having open discussions about this issue and is open to possible changes.

Other issues we have come across are that there are citizens upset with the management and spending of our administrators in city hall. We too have concerns about this and we have addressed them, but at the same time, we ask you to support us by voting for the tax. It’s not a vote for or against our mayor. It’s a vote on creating increased revenue to replace the revenue loss we have suffered to fund the police and other departments outlined in the proposal.

The Elyria Police Patrolmen’s Association Board members can be contacted by logging onto: or calling the President, Tom Baracskai at 440-458-0501 and the Vice President, Dan Sumpter at 440-309-8999.


Blogger TMC NEWS said...

Here is how you can have your voice heard on TMCNEWS.NET.

Email your comments to - We put no limit on the number of words you use in your comments and will not censor or edit your comments. When emailing your comments please put the title of the story in the Email subject line.

You MUST include your full name and a phone number for us to confirm the validity of your comments. Your full name will appear along with your comments – your phone number will not be posted.

If you send a comment without a full name and phone number it will be deleted immediately.

Once your comments have been confirmed TMC NEWS will post them in the comments section to the related story.

GOLD CARD Members may post their comments directly to the story as long as their name is posted along with the comment.

1:42 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Orbitz Coupons