MADISON — Continuing to maintain a police force is expensive, especially for smaller towns.
On Wednesday, the Madison County Board of Commissioners approved the county to provide law enforcement services in Meadow Grove.
Sheriff Todd Volk said the village used a part-time police officer. Most of the time it was the sheriff’s deputy who was off duty.
With some of the new requirements placed on every law enforcement agency, this can get expensive. In addition to salaries, there are costs for maintaining a vehicle, buying new computers, and undergoing training and new procedures.
Based on discussions Volk had with the village, Meadow Grove asked for a sheriff’s deputy to work 35 hours a month. Obviously the sheriff’s department will be spending more hours there than that, including regular county patrol, he said.
The deputy’s hours will include enforcing city ordinances and dealing with issues such as parking, litter or chicken complaints or any ordinance violations, Volk said.
Commissioner Ron Schmidt asked if the county had enough deputies to handle the extra work.
“Even before that, I was going to come to you and ask for more staff,” Volk said, but the county will make it work.
The amount the village will pay will offset the additional expenses for the county. The contract is similar to what other counties have done. Volk said the county won’t make a profit but will try to recoup most of its costs.
The contract was approved by the village council in December and was approved 3-0 by the county council on Wednesday. It begins on April 1 and lasts two and a half years.
It’s the first time — at least in recent years — that Madison County has provided all of a city’s law enforcement services. The funds that Meadow Grove gives to the county will go to the law enforcement budget — not the general fund.