Borough of Sugarcreek Ends Police Coverage Discussions with City of Franklin

As many of you are aware, the Borough of Sugarcreek recently held talks with the City of
Franklin regarding police coverage. The purpose for these discussions was to review and evaluate
all possible avenues to achieve better police coverage for our citizens. Discussions between
Sugarcreek and Franklin focused on what form any agreement between our municipalities would
take if we decided to pursue a police contract.

Prior to our Borough Council meeting on January 3rd, the public received word through
sources separate from the Borough Council that it had entered police discussions with Franklin.
Those sources indicated that the Borough Council was “cutting” or “eliminating” the Sugarcreek
police department entirely, and this message was conveyed to and quickly spread through the
public. This was not accurate.

As of that date, only two meetings had occurred between representatives of both
municipalities, and those meetings were only for the purpose of gauging interest in a contract
agreement. We had not discussed any expected costs, numbers, time frames, schedules or
anything other than Franklin’s interest in further discussions. As such, we could not answer every
question the public posed to us with our limited information at the time, which, we understand,
left people frustrated.

We requested additional meetings with Franklin to help address some of the concerns and
inquiries brought before us at that meeting. We had one additional meeting with Franklin before
the February 7 Borough Council meeting, wherein we addressed some of these issues. This gave
us some idea of how to address general concerns, but we still did not receive concrete numbers
for our February meeting. At the February meeting, we were met with tempered opposition, and
we resolved to finally meet the continued demands for concrete figures.

As of the date of this press release, we have received concrete figures from Franklin
regarding contracting police services for Sugarcreek. We will reserve those figures for discussion
at the next Borough Council meeting, if necessary. For now, all that needs to be said is that the
anticipated price for the services in question is outside of our expectations, and we do not believe
that a contract with Franklin for enhanced police coverage is in the interest of our citizens at this

The City and the Borough have a longstanding cooperative relationship. Due to
agreements already in place, our municipal departments work together to aid and assist each
other. We believe these discussions have not strained our relationship, but, instead, have
mutually shown that both of our police departments have the ability to benefit each other through
the sharing of experience and resources. This cooperation is an internal matter, delegated by law
to our respective police departments, and does not require the Borough Council’s further
participation. As such, we believe now is a prudent time to leave the matter of these discussions

We want to thank the City of Franklin for engaging in this discussion with us. We want to
thank the citizens of the Borough for expressing your concerns and your frustrations. More so,
we wish to applaud your unyielding support for your police department. We would especially
like to thank the Sugarcreek Borough Police Department for continuing to provide stellar
services to our community, even in the midst of this tumult and uncertainty. Our officers have
shown excellence in the performance of their duties, and their presence and commitment is truly
a blessing to our local community.

Mayor Matthew Carlson
Council President James Speth
Howard Barger
Larry Baughman
Bogan Goughler
Alan Heller