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Tallmadge -- The Tallmadge Police Department has joined a group of area police departments that work together to provide mutual aid and assistance for crash investigations.
City Council authorized the city to join the Summit Metro Crash Response Team, a consortium of officers and equipment from member police departments, as of Feb. 27, according to the membership contract. Membership to the group is free.
Police Chief Don Zesiger was unable to be reached for comment before deadline.
"If we have a crash here, and we need help from the outside, we can call this response team to us," Mayor Dave Kline said.
In return, Tallmadge has two crash investigators who will help other police departments when they need it.
All police officers are trained on how to conduct crash investigations, but more complex situations, such as crashes involving more than two vehicles, multiple crashes in one area or crashes that result in fatalities, will likely be candidates for response team assistance.
"If it's one of our own crashes [involving a city employee], we might want to call in an outside agency. If it's a fatality, we'll definitely want outside help," Kline said, explaining an independent agency may be used to avoid any appearance of impropriety.
The roster of police departments on the response team includes the cities of Cuyahoga Falls, Stow, Hudson, Twinsburg, Macedonia, Fairlawn, Barberton and Norton; the villages of Silver Lake, Peninsula and Richfield; Copley Township; and Metro Parks Serving Summit County.
The membership agreement is effective for five years with an option to extend it for an additional three years. Members have the option to leave the group after giving 30 days notice.
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