Neighborhood Working to Contain Crime

ROME TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WSAZ) – Neighbors in Rome Township in Lawrence County, Ohio are working to keep watch and put the brakes on a laundry list of issues.

Heather Fletcher says she came home recently and saw someone had shot through her window with a pellet gun.

“Everyone is just sick of it,” Fletcher said.

Brad Goodenough found his mailbox vandalized.

“We came home, and the light post was busted,” he said.

Goodenough says his next-door neighbors were victims of a home break-in.

Along with growing vandalism, theft, and drugs, they're worried about people speeding on residential streets.

Monday night residents met with county leaders and State Representative Ryan Smith at the Rome Township Volunteer Fire Department on how to solve the problems. People say they'd like to see more police in the neighborhood.

Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless says he’s all for a bigger police presence, but with his department's limited budget and resources, people would either have to pay more taxes for additional deputies or begin their own township police force.

"Having that police presence would be a big help, but it would come at a cost," Lawless said.

People at the meeting asked about getting some speed bumps put in and the speed limits in the township lowered.

They were told that would have to come after an expensive study and would have to be approved by the Ohio Department of Transportation.

Township trustees will be talking with county commissioners about how to put some of the ideas discussed at the meeting into effect.

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