Village changes policy on police use of tasers


MECHANICSBURG – The Mechanicsburg Village Council gathered on Monday, March 18 at a regularly-scheduled meeting in the municipal building.

Many members of the public were present for the meeting.

Mayor Jason Adelsberger shared with the council that he was instituting changes to several policies within the police department.

One policy change made was to temporarily suspend the use of tasers. In a statement provided by the mayor, Adelsberger said, “The mayor, council, and chief of police will work together to review the department’s policies, procedures, and training to ensure that both our officers’ and community’s safety is protected. The village is also considering establishing a committee to review every use of force.”

The mayor then shared that at this time, the village does not have “mutual aid agreements” with departments nearby (St. Paris and North Lewisburg) but that the Mechanicsburg Police Department will occasionally assist when called to do so. Adelsberger stated that until a mutual agreement is in place “to protect our officers or the village in the event of injury etc.,” Mechanicsburg will be suspending offering or receiving support from other departments. He went on to say that the village is still able to receive assistance from the sheriff and the Ohio Highway Patrol. (This does not include aid in emergency/catastrophic situations.)

For the same reason, the village will be suspending pursuing arrest warrants outside of the village.

The final policy change at this time, according to the statement, is that “when a driver is not able to legally drive their vehicle after a traffic stop, the driver will have at least two hours to get a licensed, insured driver to come get the vehicle before it would be impounded. Vehicles must be otherwise legal to drive and not being held for evidence.”

Several members of the public who were present voiced passionate opinions on the policy changes, specifically the use of tasers. Several voiced an agreement to establish a “use of force committee.”

Administrator’s report

Village Administrator Roger Brake presented the administrator’s report. He stated that work has begun on the drainage tile on Mill Street. He also said that service switch-overs are finishing up on West Sandusky Street, and beginning on Walnut and Race Street. Brake went on to say that there will be several trees that will be removed on West Sandusky, Race, and Main streets as part of the waterline project. He also stated that parts of Race and Walnut streets will be closed for boring of the new waterline, and that no parking will be permitted on those streets during that time.

Police chief report

Mechanicsburg Police Chief David Patrick shared the recent citation list. He then shared that the department sent two officers to assist with search and rescue in Russells Point after the tornado/storms on Thursday, March 14. The fire/EMS department also sent several people to assist. Adelsberger stated, “For the police department and Fire/EMS, thank you for everyone on behalf of the village for responding to that, being good neighbors, and for being willing to jump up and jump in. Those are the types of things where we all need to pitch in and it’s great to see everyone get together and do that.”

Patrick also stated that per village ordinance, the department will soon begin looking into “junk vehicles” within the village.

Patrick also shared that the department has completed a pamphlet of “Champaign County Resources” that is available to every police officer to hand out to victims in accordance with “Marsy’s Law.” The pamphlet includes contact information for many resources within the county, including resources for food and clothing, medical and mental health, transportation, shelters, courts, prosecutors, legal aid, and support for seniors and veterans. The pamphlet has been made available to other entities throughout the county to share with people in need of assistance.

The village council will meet next on Monday, April 1, at 6:30 p.m. in the municipal building. Village council meetings are open to the public.

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