Township law enforcement boosted

Approximately 24 hours before voters chose to support a levy in Batavia Township to increase the law enforcement capacity within the township, the trustees discussed the status of patrols within the township with Sheriff’s Deputy B.J. Boerger. Deputy Boerger said that with a new schedule, he was able to spend more time working with local communities to address specific issues and help setup neighborhood watches.

“I’m now on a four day on, three day off rotation,” said Deputy Boerger. “It seems to be working out well, I’m still busy, and I do some follow-ups and stuff like that. I can still do neighborhood watch jobs in the evening. I’ve been contacted by numerous communities to assist in their watches.”

The levy, which passed unofficially Nov. 7 with 2,525 votes for and 2,417 against, was placed on the ballot by the trustees to generate funds to hire up to two more sheriff’s deputies that would be dedicated to patrolling specifically in Batavia Township, although they would respond to crimes outside of the township if aid was requested.

“We’re staying busy, that’s every month,” said Deputy Boerger. “If the levy doesn’t pass, I’m still going to do everything I can for the community. That’s my job, and that’s why I’m a police officer.”

Trustee Deborah Clepper told Deputy Boerger that input on his performance had been overall appreciative.

“I’ve had a lot of chances to talk to people about the levy, and a lot of people are singing your praises,” said Clepper. “You have a good rapport with our community and we appreciate that.”

As one of the fastest-growing communities in the county, Batavia Township has seen a rise in some crimes due to the population growth. One such issue, which the trustees have been actively seeking to put an end to, is dumping and littering, an offense which they have asked Deputy Boerger to spend as much time combatting as possible.

“I had some complaints about dumping on Greenbriar Road,” said Deputy Boerger. “I’m still working on that. I know who did it. The property was recently purchased, and they admitted to me that they dumped a whole lot of trash, but they deny dumping it on the side of the road.”

In that instance, Deputy Boerger said that the trash did contain materials with names on it, but the investigation was complicated by circumstances surrounding the actual dumping. While the garbage did contain one individual’s name, it was dumped after that person had moved from the area, making it difficult to determine whether it was dumped by that person or by the new property owner.

“The new owner said that it was left in a mess and he had to take the trash out, like over 100 bags,” said Deputy Boerger.

In instances like this, said Deputy Boerger, an eyewitness could tip the scales in the investigation. Any sort of description could help the officers find and fine the guilty parties.

“They’re witnessing a criminal offense,” said Deputy Boerger. “Any information they can get us is important. A license plate, description of the person who dumped it, if we had that it would be fairly easy to determine who dumped it. Any time we get a complaint (we investigate), it’s hard if you don’t have a witness.”

To report a dumping or any other crime, call (513) 732-7500.