Chesterfield Township Police Chief Bruce Smith said Wednesday he was disappointed the tax increase proposal failed but the force will move forward.
"Obviously I'm disappointed," Smith told Patch. "The department and the public that rallied, we really did our best and did what we could. But, obviously there were people who were against it."
With 100 percent of the precincts reporting early Tuesday, the police tax was turned down by 52.3 percent of voters and favored by 47.7 percent, according to county election results and the Chesterfield Township Clerk's Office.
Smith says he will reassess departmental finances and meet with the new Board of Trustees when they take office. He said he hopes to seek a tax increase again before the police fund is diminished. Specifics of what could be sought from voters and whether a potential proposal will differ from Tuesday's ballot are undetermined, he said.
Although department officials said voter rejection of the proposal could lead to as many as 17 layoffs, Smith said that will not immediately happen.
On Wednesday, the mood inside the station was gloomy, but the staff was focusing on regular duties.
"We have a job that we have to do," he said. "We're going to continue to be the same professional police department that we've been."
The police department already collects 5 mills that do not require renewal. Voters were asked to approve another 2.5 mills that would have also been collected annually in perpetuity.
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