Scottville may enter into agreement with Sheriff’s Office

January 21, 2013

SCOTTVILLE — The City of Scottville may enter into an agreement with the Mason County Sheriff’s Office to provide partial police coverage in Scottville. The proposal was brought up when Sheriff Kim Cole learned that Scottville was considering ending its administrative contract with the City of Ludington.

“I learned that Ludington and Scottville were talking about dissolving their agreement,” Cole said. “I contacted City Manager Amy Williams and told her that we may be able to help out.”

Cole and Williams both confirmed that the preliminary discussion includes Scottville keeping one full time officer who would patrol the city Monday through Friday during the day. The city may also keep a part-time officer who would patrol weekends and some evenings. The city would then provide funds for the sheriff’s office to add an additional road patrol deputy with a guarantee that a deputy would always be available with a five minute response time to Scottville.

“There are a lot of details that we would have to work out,” Cole said. “This is just preliminary.”

One of those details would be whether or not deputies would be able to enforce Scottville city ordinances. Right now, only Scottville officers can enforce those ordinances. Sheriff’s deputies currently can enforce Michigan state laws in the city limits but they cannot enforce Scottville city laws, such as barking dog complaints.

“We would have to certainly work those things out,” Williams said.

Another issue would be property checks. Scottville officers conduct foot patrols in downtown Scottville after hours and check to make sure businesses’ doors are locked. They also patrol homes for people who are out of town for extended periods of time.

Willliams said the sheriff’s office option is enticing but it’s not the city’s only option. The city may also explore hiring a part-time chief who serves in an administrative role.

The sheriff is expected to meet with the county commission’s public safety committee Tuesday afternoon to discuss the proposal.

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief

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