Lake Twp. turns to experience for police officers

MILLBURY — Lake Township is going old school for new police officers.

At a recent meeting, the trustees approved hiring Randall Sehl and Donald Egan as part-time police officers. They will be paid $28.42 per hour.

Together, the officers have 68 years of experience, said Mark Hummer, Lake Township police chief.

Sehl is the acting chief in Dundee, Michigan, and has 33 years experience, including being a school resource officer. He is retired from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.

Egan is a supervisory special agent for CSX railroad. He was a former member of the FBI Cleveland Joint Terrorism Task Force and a former SWAT member.

The “new” officers will be mentors, Hummer said.

“We have a young department and it’s nice to have veteran officers step forward,” he said. “I’m very happy to have them on board. I think they’ll be a wonderful asset to the department.”

After the meeting, Hummer said the men bring a wealth of knowledge and are willing to help.

It’s an “out-of-the-box” way of thinking to help their depleted police department, he said.

“I recruited them both. I’ve worked with both of them. I think it may be the way to go,” Hummer said. “Even though they’re only going to be part time, the knowledge that they possess, working with our younger officers, is invaluable.”

He expects Sehl and Egan will only work a couple shifts a month.

In other business, the trustees discussed the memorial tree plantings in Friendship Park. Trustee Chairman Ken Gilsdorf said that an alarming number have died over the years and he is leery about planting more — 17 this year.

The trees are planted annually in memory of prominent residents of Lake Township. The name of the honoree is on a plaque next to the tree.

“We get a lot of negative feedback from the public,” he said.

Gilsdorf said he proposed moving the memorial to the cemetery and making a wall with names on it. He added that there are currently 130 names on trees, with 15 added annually.

That idea, though, was roundly rejected.

“You eliminate all of that personal little touch which I felt our trees meant to people,” said Sue Brinker, who was in the audience.

It was also considered having a wall at Lake High School, where a veterans wall is, Gilsdorf said.

‘Nobody can see that any more unless … they’re at a sporting event or musical,” he said. “Resoundingly I heard no, that it needs to be at the park.”

Trustee Richard Welling said that the tradition was started to honor residents, and also put trees in the park. He pointed out that all of the memorial trees survived the 2010 tornado.

“But why are they all dying now,” Gilsdorf said.

“Dead memorial sends the wrong message,” Hummer said.

Welling said he still hopes that the problem can be solved.

“We’ve got a new guy coming on,” Welling said, adding that the employee can be trained to know what the trustees expect at the park and with the trees.

Also at the meeting, the trustees:

• Approved spending $5,751 to Fallsway Equipment Co., Akron, for repairs and preventative maintenance to fire engine 27.

• Renewed the Lexipol Fire and EMS Continuing Education learning platform for $3,400.

• Voted to spend $2,873 for oil change and brakes for the 2019 Medic used by the fire department. Brondes Ford, Maumee, will do the work.

• Approved spending $1,844 for brake repairs on the 2019 Dodge Charger used by the police department. Baumann Ford Oregon will do the work.

• Approved buying $1,780 supplies, including filters, grease and oils, for in-house maintenance for fire equipment. They were bought at Advantage Woodville, Northwood.

• Hired Superior Seamless Gutter, Toledo, to repair the gutters and soffit at the cemetery building for $1,295.

• Renewed the LEADS for MDT access with the Ohio State Highway Patrol for $1,200 from July 1-June 30. These are the computers used in the police vehicles.

• Heard July department reports. Police made six arrests and issued eight citations. Fire and EMS had 132 calls; 87% of calls were EMS related. There were 13 burials and 10 cremations at the cemetery. Zoning issued eight permits and collected $770.