Sheriff's Office and Belfield PD merger settled; transfer date set

In one last roll-call vote, the Belfield City Council unanimously approved the set date of the police merger Tuesday evening during its regular scheduled meeting at the Belfield City Hall. According to the merger contract, the Stark County Sheriff’s Office will acquire the police chief and add one additional deputy to cover in and around the city of Belfield, providing approximately 280 hours per month of law-enforcement presence.

The police merger arose from ongoing discussions that began in December 2020, when the Stark County Sheriff’s Office presented the Belfield City Council with a plan to bring the one-man police department of Police Chief Steve Byrne under its wing as a deputy. This merger of disbanding Belfield’s police force initially received push back from both council members and the community.

Councilwoman Pam Gross was one of the council members who has previously questioned how this merger will benefit the city in the long run as opposed to hiring an additional police officer. Gross expressed her views at the June 8 meeting.

Councilwoman Pam Gross listens to fellow council members during the Belfield City Council meeting Tuesday, June 8, 2021.

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