BUTLER TWP. — The Butler Township Trustees welcomed a new trustee and two new police officers on Monday evening.
Kenneth Betz was sworn in to replace Trustee Nick Brusky who resigned last Friday to take a position in the Trump Administration.
Betz has been the Director of the Miami Valley Regional Crime Lab since 1969 and Director of the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office since 1988. He has served on the township’s Budget Commission since it was created last year.
Betz holds a Master’s Degree in Science from Xavier University and graduated from the FBI’s National Academy in 1984 according to his biography on the Montgomery County website.
Trustee Mike Lang said he and fellow Trustee Joe Flanagan took serious their responsibility under Ohio law and found agreement.
“The law is pretty specific – the Board has to make that decision,” said Lang. “When you look at the totality of what has happened in the last year, for Joe and I to come to a consensus to fill Nick’s void and move forward is a good thing for the township and is, frankly, leadership.”
When asked why he sought the Trustee position, Betz cited his long-standing residence in the township and his experience.
“I’ve been a resident of the township for over 40 years, I have 40 years of experience in government, I understand budgets, I understand townships,” said Betz. “I spent the last year on the township’s Budget Commission learning the ins and outs of the township’s budget. I think this is something I can add to for the folks of Butler Township. My reputation speaks for itself and I think I have a lot to offer, and I think I will.”
The appointment of Betz is through December 31. Two trustee positions are up for election in November – the one Betz currently holds and that of Lang.
The township also swore in two new police officers as a result of voters passing a police levy in November’s election. Troy Dexter joins the department with 17 years of experience in the cities of Clayton and Trotwood. John Rieder comes to the township with 16 years of experience in Butler Township and Five Rivers MetroParks.
“This is one of the many directions of positive movement we want to be going,” said Butler Township Police Chief John Porter. “Getting extra boots out on the ground, reducing overtime, extra officers able to fill open shifts, this is just immensely important.”
“This is incredible,” said Lang. “For many years we were the training ground for officers who would then go somewhere else. We just hired two experienced, solid cops who will bring that experience to Butler Township. That is phenomenal. They know the Chief, they see the stability of the township, and see the support of the community for this department which is paramount.”
Porter said the support of the community for the police levy last November was a milestone for the department.
“I think that (passage of the levy) is one of the key components of why we are in the position we are now,” said Porter. “Once the officers, the community, and those outside the community realized there was such strong support for the department, especially the way our levy passed with large support is unheard of in many communities and knowing that’s the kind of support we have helps officers know we are stable.”
In other business, the trustees approved a $500 donation to the Vandalia-Butler After Prom Committee, $500 to the City of Vandalia for the annual Easter Egg Hunt, and $13,500 to Vandalia as half of the annual Star Spangled Celebration commemorating Independence Day.
Trustees also authorized Chief of Police John Porter to enter into agreements with individual businesses and organizations for providing uniformed police at special events. The rate was set at $65 per hour, the same rate currently paid by Christian Life Center and Aullwood Audubon Center.
Finally, the trustees authorized the sale of surplus police equipment.
The Butler Township Trustees will hold their next regular meeting on Monday, Feb. 13 at 7 p.m.
Reach Darrell Wacker at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.