The Village of Newton Falls could resurrect its police department as early as next year. 

This comes as a Police Services Ad-Hoc Committee is working to figure out how to pay for the department, after a levy to keep the department afloat, failed in 2022. The committee recently held its second meeting on Thursday. 

Former officers and the committee agree that a local department is wanted and attainable when comparing costs.   

It's been more than a year now since the village has relied on Trumbull County Sheriff's Department to patrol the town. The committee is unsure how many hours the sheriff's department patrols the village.   

Village officials revealed earlier this year they saved $386,000 on a health insurance plan for its employees, which also benefited the general fund. The police services committee said savings like these could help bring back the police force. 

Some residents and business owners told the committee they see an increase in reckless driving because drivers know their streets aren't being patrolled around the clock. Some still don't trust efficient response times and want the feeling of a more personalized police department.

The committee said a solution could be bringing back a bare-boned, part-time department at a starting cost of about $400k. Starting the department back part-time could be a "good way to avoid paying benefits," according to the committee. 

Budget reports show the village spent $842,667.83 on its police department in 2022. Compare that to 2023's spending of $710,852.88, with a majority of those dollars going toward the sheriff's department.

"Once we get this all packaged together when they [council] start going through budgets in the fall, we can have our program set up for council that says, this is what you need to budget if you want to get with a part-time police department," explained Terry Wentworth, Chair of the Police Services Ad-Hoc Committee.

A community-oriented policing services grant could also help pick the department back up-- as the department says they can't rely on another police levy to get things moving once again.

The department will now start to compare the average part-time wages for other departments in the county to get a better estimate of how much they can afford. Former Newton Falls Police Officer Steve Lyden said average part-time wages in surrounding departments range from $15-22 per hour.

Their next meeting is scheduled for May 2.