Stark County residents to pay for law enforcement; Officials OK $2 per resident per month agreementStark County residents will pay $2 per resident per month for law enforcement if their city doesn’t have its own police department, officials decided Thursday evening at the Dickinson Law Enforcement Center.
Stark County residents will pay $2 per resident per month for law enforcement if their city doesn’t have its own police department, officials decided Thursday evening at the Dickinson Law Enforcement Center.
Representatives of South Heart and Richardton agreed to the charge despite concerns, but Russ Myran, Taylor city councilman, said he is not on board.
“The normal sheriff’s duties you pay with your property taxes,” Myran said.
Stark County Commissioner Ken Zander told him the city would be billed and they should pay what they could.
State law requires the Stark County Sheriff Departments to take care of incidents deemed a Class B misdemeanor or above, said Stark County State’s Attorney Tom Henning.
“It is not the sheriff’s responsibility to patrol your towns to keep the law and order,” he said.
City representatives present said they can’t afford their own police department and worry they’ll get the same services from SCSO whether they pay a fee or not.
“I’m a little frustrated that you know, I’m not going to get anything for my $2 that somebody who lives out in the country isn’t already getting,” said Frank Kirschenheiter, president of the Richardton City Commission.
Chuck Andrus, South Heart city councilman, said he wants deputies to patrol randomly during busy hours of the days.
“It doesn’t have to be every Tuesday or every Wednesday,” he said. “Just once in a while cruise through the town and slow the kids down so that they know that they’re being watched.”
Zander said deputies would make a “good faith effort” to patrol cities that paid fees as much as possible.
“We may be patrolling your city more if you’re contributing in kind,” said Jay Elkin, Stark County commissioner. “If the cities do not want any added patrolling or extra patrolling, we don’t have a problem with that.”
Sheriff Clarence Tuhy said fee or not, deputies will respond to calls to SCSO.
“Even if somebody calls with a squirrel in their house, if we get the call, I mean we have to respond,” Tuhy said. “Am I going to say ‘no, call somebody else?’ I mean what kind of a sheriff’s office response is that?”
Andrus pointed out South Heart has an animal control worker that residents should be called for animal-related issues.
The cities will be retroactively billed for services beginning Jan. 1. Cities usually have contracts signed with the SCSO stipulating services and costs by January, but none had been signed as of Thursday, Tuhy said.
“They’ve been getting the same service as they were when contracts were signed since January,” he said after the meeting.
Taylor had a population of 148 in 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s website. Using that as a guide, the city would be billed about $296 a month.
A representative from Gladstone was not present at Thursday’s meeting.
[b]2010-11 monthly fees [/b]
*South Heart: $0
* Belfield and Dickinson have their own law enforcement, and until October South Heart did as well.