Fire, law enforcement officials offer public safety warnings


A rash of car break-ins and the time change from daylight-saving time ending led to a series of public warnings at Monday night’s Jerome Township Trustees meeting.
Union County Sheriff Jamie Patton was at the meeting Monday. He said there was a string of cars broken into at Glacier Ridge Metro Park.
“It didn’t take them long,” Township Trustee Ron Rhodes said. “Within an hour, they were trying to get money out.”
Patton explained that suspects were seen trying to use banking cards from the vehicles. He said the suspects were captured on tape.
The sheriff said his office is investigating and has already asked other agencies for help in identifying the suspects.
“We are actively pursuing these leads,” Patton said.
He issued a warning to motorists around Union County, not just Jerome Township.
“It is important to lock your vehicles and keep things out of eyesight,” Patton said.
Fire Chief Doug Stewart also issued a public service announcement.
“Make sure you check your smoke detectors,” Stewart said.
He reminded residents that it is important to replace the batteries in smoke detectors when they set the clock forward or backward.
Stewart said his department has seen “an uptick” in runs for the year. He said the Jerome Township Fire Department activity is up more than 10 percent from last year. He said October was up 12 percent over October of 2016. Stewart said the department has responded to 614 runs through October.
“We will see how things shake out, but we are probably going to hit 700 runs,” Stewart said, noting that the majority of responses are to medical needs.
In other news:
The trustees approved spending “up to $5,000” as part of a contract with On Target Designs to design and administer the township website.
“Our recommendation is that we move away from our current designer,” said Sterwart, representing a committee of township employees and officials researching website options.
He said the township needs a website administrator that is “a little bit more reliable.”
Stewart said On Target would provide a domain name that would be owned by the township.
Stewart said with On Target, the township, “will have control of the site.”
He said the designer will also provide email addresses related to the website.
Stewart said township officials will be in charge of providing additional information and keeping the information and the website updated. He said he has seen suggestions from On Target and said the new site “is really going to jump out at our residents when they open up that site.”
Rhodes asked when the new site might be completed and operational.
“By the end of the year is our target,” Stewart said.
Rhodes responded that he would be happy getting the new site today. Stewart said there are some logistics to consider. He said that all of the information on the current site belongs to the township so that should be easy to gather and post on the new site.
“The only thing we don’t own on the site is the domain (web address), and that’s one of the hurdles we have to overcome,” Stewart said.
Trustee Joe Craft asked about the possibility of a government, possibly Union County, related address if township officials are not able to get control of the current address.

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