By: Renea Kessler
THE VILLAGE REPORTER
With his 30 plus years in law enforcement, Chief Timothy Livengood knows that it is difficult to compare statistics year to year. Each and every year has its own challenges and issues.
“Our call volume and type are fairly consistent year to year, moreover due to the region of the state in which we live.”
“For example, the types of calls and call volume received, say in Toledo, Ohio, vary greatly from the types of calls we receive.”
“While we are not immune to the severity of such crime here and we prepare for that level of crime with our training, we are fortunate to not have such crime on the consistency of a larger city.”
“It is said often to my village council, it’s not JUST Pioneer, we have the same crimes in Pioneer as they have in the bigger cities, just not as often,” said Chief Livengood.
Crime in the area has been fairly consistent year by year but one thing that has been changing in crime are the tech crimes. As technology changes each year so does tech crimes and scams.
Manpower is an ongoing issue in law enforcement nationwide. With the demands of the job, low pay, and constant negative messages by certain communities and media outlets, it makes recruitment very difficult.
“Holding law enforcement agencies accountable for their actions and decisions is very much needed, however, society’s pendulum has swung so far that the assumption of wrong-doing or mishandling incidents is the default before obtaining the facts.”
“These issues make recruitment and retention very difficult. We are blessed in Pioneer to have a tremendous amount of support and we never take that for granted,” stated Livengood.
With the support of the Pioneer Village Administration as well as the council, the department is able to move forward with the first ever K-9 unit for the Village of Pioneer. The department now has a fully certified K-9 named Vader on patrol with minimal expenses to the taxpayers in the community.
This could not have been possible without help from corporate and community partners as well as grants and donations.
One of the bigger changes happeningain law enforcement is that OPOTA is looking to have a regional training site closer to the NW corner of the state to help to accommodate the officers situated in this portion of the state.
It is their goal to make it easier for the officers within the state of Ohio to travel a shorter distance all while having the same training opportunities.
The State of Ohio has secured Continued Professional Training (CPT) funds for the next couple of years, which is a huge benefit to northwest Ohio as training is essential.
There may be even more funds and grant opportunities for law enforcement in the State of Ohio which is wonderful news!
Another big change in law enforcement throughout Ohio has been the focus that is given to officer wellness.
Ensuring officers are being taken care of is a must because some of the most harmful scars are those we cannot see.
The department sends as many of their officers as they can to instructor training courses because they know that training and education for personnel is invaluable to any agency.
The Pioneer PD can offer training to other agencies as they did earlier in the year with an officer wellness program they had hosted.
The wellness course helped the PD obtain some of their educational hours that are issued by The Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy, and it also saved some money by training locally.
“Investing in your personnel is critical to the overall success of any law enforcement agency and helps build the foundation for the future of that agency,” said Chief Livengood.
When asked what law enforcement meant to him, Livengood stated, “Law enforcement is more than enforcing laws to me. While that is our primary mission, of course, I feel investing in and working with our community is the key to success.”
“We embrace a community policing mindset at Pioneer and primarily the goal is to include the community in all that we do through programs, transparency, communication, and education.”
“Being involved with the community is as important to us as our role in enforcing laws and providing safety and security for our citizens.”
Whether mentoring at Boys State or coaching different sports for North Central Schools, we strive to be involved in all areas of the Pioneer Community.”
“Sometimes that involvement helps those less fortunate within our community. We recently started a Giving Tree Program last Christmas, and this is an opportunity for the community to purchase gifts for children from the community that may not otherwise get anything for the holidays. This commitment to our community is as valuable as our other law enforcement missions.”
Chief Livengood would like people reading this to know that the cost of everything has risen post COVID and that includes everything related to law enforcement.
Budgets are stretched thin with the cost of vehicles, fuel, benefits, technology, equipment, ammunition, and uniforms, it makes the jobs of police chiefs or administrators more difficult.
They all want to ensure the most cost-effective way of providing necessary services to the community is met without impacting those services to the best of their ability.
Livengood said that “Seeking grants and donations has become the norm for many smaller agencies, such as the Pioneer Police Department, and we constantly seek out financial assistance to ensure our community’s needs are met.”
“I strive to ensure our budget is spent on the necessities needed by the Pioneer community while investing in our personnel, as well as the agency’s technology and equipment as we grow and move towards what the future may hold.”
Renea can be reached at