PATASKALA, OH - The City of Pataskala Police Department is considering significant cuts within the police department to save money, according to the Newark Advocate. Cost-cutting measures include staff cuts, suspending the take-home program, refinancing vehicles, and selling surplus.

Mayor Steve Butcher plans to cut the police department's staffing from its current level of 17 officers and a full-time civilian clerk to 12 officers, including a single lieutenant and chief, and a part-time civilian clerk.

Butcher has asked the city council to consider making the change sometime between January and June 1, 2010. The time frame would allow the council to place yet another funding issue on the May ballot, reported the Advocate.

Butcher is also suspending the department's take-home fleet program to save $3,000 annually. As part of the program, officers could drive their cruisers home if they lived within 30 minutes of the city. The department implemented the program to allow officers to drive directly to emergency calls, as opposed to stopping at the department first to pick up their cruisers and then responding to calls.

Butcher also wants to sell a handful of police vehicles not used because of staff reductions. To that end, he wants council to refinance its loan for the vehicles, and then sell off the excess cruisers. Refinancing the loan would save $9,000, Butcher said.