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Police force would cost about $600,000 to start

March 12, 2003|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

It would cost about $600,000 to start a town police department with three officers, a chief and a dispatcher, Mayor John W. Slayman said at Monday's Town Council meeting.

On the other hand, it would cost about one-fourth of that to keep using the Washington County Sheriff's Department's resident deputies, he said.

Two deputies are assigned to the town and a third is about to start. Slayman said he will ask for a fourth deputy.

In recent months, several town residents and business owners asked the mayor and Town Council to look into forming a police department again. The town used to have its own force, but it was disbanded in 1984.

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Slayman estimated that the start-up costs would include $400,000 in salaries and benefits and $28,000 for a fully equipped vehicle. Liability insurance would run another $100,000, he said.

"So, you all think about that," he told the audience.

Slayman also read specific passages from 1970s and 1980s Town Council minutes, showing how residents at the time had similar complaints about police coverage.

A special meeting to discuss police coverage in town is scheduled for 7 p.m. today in the community building.

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