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Bridgeport police continue certification process

BRIDGEPORT — The Bridgeport Police Department is continuing on its goal of acquiring all five group standard certifications through the Ohio Collaborative.

During Tuesday’s Bridgeport Village Council meeting, Police Chief John Bumba said the department is set to secure Group 3 certification, which involves police pursuit standards, by the end of the week.

The department earned Group 2 certification last month, making it the only law enforcement agency in Belmont County to do so thus far.

There are five group standards which “hold everyone accountable and instill a greater confidence with the public. … All law enforcement agencies are expected to meet or exceed these new standards as they develop policies and procedures to meet these new expectations,” according to the Ohio Collaborative. Each standard includes different criteria implemented by the state that must be completed prior to certification.

On Thursday, Assistant Chief Darby Copeland said the department received confirmation that it had acquired Group 3 certification.

“It’s really given us an oppruntity to look at how we do business and this particular group really took a look at ensuring that our agency is not doing any type of profiling by race, sex or otherwise. The results that we found were very representative of the community that we serve, so we are happy to report that our officers are appropriately and effectively administering criminal justice,” he said.

The department has already started the process to acquire Group 4 certification.

Bumba also gave his report during the meeting for the month of August. The department had 59 calls for service, 25 criminal arrests, 48 traffic stops, 48 citations issued, and nine crashes. He said he plans to add warnings issued to his report, though none were provided during Tuesday’s meeting.

In other matters, Mayor Norma Teasdale said they nearly two dozen street lights not working through the village.

“We had a member of the street department go out the other night and check all the poles to see if the lights were on or not, and we had 21 (not working),” she said.

Teasdale said she reported the issue to American Electric Power who stated that they will take care of the problem.

Councilman Robert Bennington said the biggest issue with the lights not working properly is the people waiting for buses without any lights, especially as the days become shorter and the sun rises later in the morning.

Village Administrator Jesse Kosegi also gave his monthly report in which he said the Lombardy Heights slip repair project is moving ahead with a bid opening slated for 3:30 p.m. Oct. 3 in council chambers. The village secured a $118,334 grant through the Ohio Public Works Commission for the project in July. The grant covers 90% of the money needed to complete the project, while the village is responsible for a match of $13,148.

At the start of the meeting, council heard from concerned residents. Rob Reed expressed issues with the storm drainage in Aetnaville.

“Aetnaville is basically a bowl like your bathroom sink. (Ohio) Route 7 is a dam and when the water comes off of that hill it goes right into this hole. If that hole gets plugged, my basement gets flooded and multiple houses along Fourth Street,” he said.

Reed said he wants to find out who is responsible for the storm drains on Mill Street.

Teasdale said she would alert the street superintendent of the issue and have him check it to see what can be done.

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