The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

March 30, 2013

Retired Conneaut police officer keeps order at ACDJFS

ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP — A member of the Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Patrol has been hired for private duty at the Ashtabula County Department of Job and Family Services’ Donahoe Center.

Steve Gerics, who is retired from the Conneaut Police Department, was hired as a contract employee to provide security four days a week, said Patrick Arcaro, executive director of the department.

Gerics works 8 to 10 a.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. This week was his first on the job at ACDJFS and Arcaro said it went “great.”

“It has been much better since he’s been here,” Arcaro said.

The executive director is referring to the atmosphere in the lobby, where clients grow grumpy and occasionally become belligerent when they don’t receive their services in a timely fashion or are turned away because of insufficient staffing. Arcaro said the volume of calls for assistance has grown even as he’s had to shrink the size of the department’s workforce.

There were a couple of incidents with irate clients in 2012 that required a call to the sheriff’s department for assistance. Earlier this year, Arcaro told commissioners that he felt a need to have some kind of law enforcement in the lobby on high-traffic mornings. He said employees and the union voiced their concerns after incidents with ornery clients.

Sheriff William Johnson suggested several names to Arcaro when he inquired about the possibility of getting a deputy for the lobby.

“He is providing security,” Arcaro said of Gerics’ duties. “He is there to maintain order in the lobby. He has arrest powers.”

Johnson said Gerics is a member of the sheriff’s patrol and is subcontracted to Job and Family Services. Gerics is armed.

Commissioners on Tuesday raised the question of liability since Gerics carries a weapon. Johnson said that coverage comes under his department, although Gerics’ is paid as a contract employee.

Gerics eventually will be provided a police radio so he can call for transports and assistance. Ashtabula Township has a sheriff’s deputy assigned just to that township.

Arcaro said the money to pay Gerics will come out of the JFS budget, an unfortunate situation because the department is understaffed. However, Arcaro said he must put the safety of his employees and clients first.

“Our number one concern is safety, and I had to make a decision,” Arcaro said.

1
Text Only
Local News
Ashtabula County Alive
July 4 Celebrations 2014
Summer off to Big Start
Ashtabula County Flag Day 2014
Northeast Ohio Soap Box Derby 2014
Tour de State Line and Boating Season
Ashtabula County Memorial Day 2014
Sam Magill Sr. Memorial
Armed Forces Echo Taps 2014
Lakeside Loop Color Run
Keeping Ashtabula County Clean and Healthy
Canoe Race and Ashtabula Easter Events
The Taping of the Teacher: A sticky Sitation
18th Annual Polar Bear Plunge at Geneva State Park
House Ads
AP Video
NDN Video
Cleveland welcomes home LeBron Houston Killer Collapses in Court When Read Capital Murder Charges for Allegedly Killing Family of Six Worst Valet Ever Wrecks $500K Lamborghini Glee Star Becca Tobin's Boyfriend Matt Bendik Found Dead in Hotel Aerial fish restocking in Utah ScarJo Channels Marilyn Monroe Obama Responds to Hecklers on Immigration Tiny Hamsters Who Ate Burritos are Back for a Tiny Hedgehog's Party Watch Kelly Ripa Get Soaked! 'Referee' Hands Out Yellow Cards for Social Faux Pas in NYC 2014 Emmy Nominees: 8 Snub Shockers Emma Watson Is Va-Va-Voom in Valentino 7 Infamous Sports Blowouts Argentina tops Holland in World Cup semifinals News flush: Japanese toilet exhibition making a splash Emmy Nominations: What to Watch For 'Game of Thrones' Leads 66th Emmy Awards Nominations Photographic 'Proof' That LeBron Is Leaving Miami - @TheBuzzeronFOX Elephant Pool Party at The Oregon Zoo Must-See! Berry and Fallon Form Human Hamster Wheel