County Board Approves Minimum Hours for Police Contracts
The Pine County Board approved a motion Tuesday to require cities that have police contracts with the county to maintain a minimum amount of hours of service from the county sheriff’s department.
The debate sparked from the city of Hinckley who considered reducing the number of hours where they get specific coverage from the Pine County Sheriff’s Department from ten to eight hours a day because they are not pleased with the amount of coverage being provided for the amount they pay.
County Coordinator Mark LeBrun:
Commissioner Steve Chaffee represents Hinckley on the county board and says one of the issues is that the city’s specific officer lives in Grantsburg, WI and has to make a 45 minutes drive to get to his patrol area, which is counted towards his hours worked.
Chaffee says Hinckley does not feel it’s getting its full 10 hours of patrol.
Earlier this year, the county board approved increasing the price paid for police services. The increase is roughly 12-percent higher than last years cost from $36.50 to $39 this year and then up to $42 the following year. The sheriff’s office says this is roughly 52-percent of the cost for putting an officer in a specific city or township, which includes the cost of wages, benefits, vehicle maintenance, gas, and insurance.
Cities can pull out of the contracts with 30-days notice, however, Pine County Chief Deputy Steve Ovick says it is unlikely the cities with police contracts (Pine City, Sandstone, Hinckley and Windemere Township) will make such a move.
The agreement states, the minimum hours cities are required to keep are the same amount of hours in their current contract.