Jim Benedict | Christy Lane
The city council approved, at their 1/20 meeting, to move forward with the finance committee’s recommendation, to investigate costs and opportunities to develop our cities own small police department This department would be an overlay to the existing Sheriff contract.
We would continue to contract with the Sheriff for serious crimes and issues and use our own police department to have much quicker responses to issues like prowlers, loud beach parties, indecent exposure, petty theft, etc. Our goal is to reduce these response times from, on average, 40 minutes to under 10 minutes. “We want to keep the best of the sheriff services, and provide continuity of service from our local police department,” stated Bud Emerson, member of the finance committee,
The recommendation, as presented by Finance Committee member, Barry Entous, is to have a police chief, one or two certified police officers, and two or more community service officers (CSOs). The Ranger program would be folded into this new venture. It was also recommended that the new police department assume the duties of traffic patrol from our Sheriff for our city.
How much will this cost us? Under the leadership of Mayor Corti and councilman Terry Sinnott, our city will present our plan to Sheriff Gore’s office and ask to have the current sheriff contract amended to remove the cost of the traffic patrol at a cost savings of over $300,000 to our city. This annual savings will cover most of the new costs that will be incurred.
We look at this opportunity as a win, win, win for our city, our citizens, and the sheriff’s office. The city gets more control and consistency of our police protection, our citizens get better response times to key issues, and the sheriff benefits from not having to do traffic patrol and a more satisfied customer.