Voters in the city of Beavercreek will again be asked to approve additional property tax funding for the police department in May, at a slightly lower millage level.
Beavercreek City Council voted Monday to place a 1.8-mill police levy on the May ballot. If passed, funds would be used to hire five new officers, and to maintain and purchase equipment.
Contrary to the city’s plan from a rejected 2.5-mill November levy, new funds would not be used to construct a new building for the police department.
“While the ballot language allows the city to use levy funds to maintain its current police department building, funds generated from this levy do not include funding for a new facility,” said City Manager Pete Landrum. “The need for a new police department building remains, but right now, the city is focused on obtaining the proper funds to maintain and increase the department’s service levels.”
If approved by voters, the levy would raise property taxes beginning in 2024 by $63 per $100,000 of appraised property value.
“The levy will provide the funds necessary to increase our police force and provide our officers with the equipment necessary for them to do their jobs safely and effectively,” said Mayor Bob Stone.
The Beavercreek Police Department is primarily funded by property taxes, which represents about 92% of the department’s budget. Roughly $8.98 million, or 75% of the police department’s budget, is for personnel costs. The rest includes funds for capital investment and necessary equipment to support the operations of the police department, the city said.
Beavercreek city officials have long pointed out that the growth of the police department has not kept pace with the growth of the city. The department is authorized to have 50 police officers, an addition of only four in the last 27 years, to serve a city of nearly 47,000 residents.
City officials would not give the exact current police staffing levels on Wednesday. They did say they had multiple retirements last year and are still working to fill some of them.
Depending on the shift, there are typically four to six patrol officers on duty at one time, the city said.
“Our city has experienced significant growth over the last few decades, but the size of our police force has remained the same,” said Beavercreek Police Chief Jeff Fiorita. “The levy will provide the funds necessary to hire additional officers to protect and serve the community.”
The last time Beavercreek voters passed additional funding for the police department was in 2014. Additional information about the police levy can be found on the city’s website, www.beavercreekohio.gov/policelevy.