New Police Department for Holly??


 Trustees Discuss Options 

What would be the cost to the community to establish a town police department for Holly?  For the past several years, the Prowers County Sheriff’s Office has been under contract to the Town of Holly for routine patrols for a forty hour week.  “I don’t think we’re getting the coverage we need,” said Trustee Johnny Lyons who asked if those 40 hours included travel time to and from Holly and Lamar.  “I just don’t think we’re getting what we pay for,” he added.  Trustee Jerry Jones felt that more attention should be paid to highway patrols and traffic control for speeders in the community.  The need to concentrate patrols around key days that produce more calls for service was also discussed.

The Holly Trustees will prepare for the 2015 budget early next month and it was noted during the monthly meeting, September 3rd,  that the annual contract with the sheriff’s office was coming due.  “I need to inform the county commissioners of our intent to renew the contract or cancel by at least September 24,” said City Administrator, Marsha Willhite.   The community began to contract for coverage from the sheriff’s office in 2001 when the local force was disbanded.

Willhite provided a financial breakdown for earlier law enforcement coverage, beginning with the town’s police force from 1995 to 2000, which averaged $90,000 per year.  The staff for that period included a marshal, two patrol officers and one person in administration.  Holly saw a downturn in expenses when the sheriff’s office was contracted for service beginning in August, 2001 for $73,022.  The next five year period noted averaged costs per year at $50,690.  From 2008 to 2013, there was an increase as averaged annual costs were $66,527.  One deputy was assigned to duty in Holly for a 40 hour week from 2002 to 2013 and the town supplied a new vehicle every other year.

“I asked Sheriff Faull for his estimate of what it would take for Holly to staff its own police department,” Willhite explained, adding that a 24/7 shift for 365 days a year, according to the sheriff, would require 4.7 officers.  It was estimated it would require $137K to re-establish a police force if Holly decided to take that route.

The Administrator provided an Incident Analysis for calls between 2011 and 2013.  Wednesday received the most incident calls at 135, the time period of most incident calls was between noon to midnight at 607 and the most incident calls were made between 7pm to 8pm at 78.

Mayor Brad Simon said, “If these estimates are accurate, setting up our own department will cost double what it costs right now with the sheriff’s department.  If it’s a question of the officers not being here when they need to be, that’s something we can discuss with Sheriff Faull.  We should get them to a meeting prior to the contract so we can show our concerns, get their side of the story and let them know what we’re worried about and what we’re hearing from our public.”  The Trustees will add the matter to their September 15 work session meeting.

By Russ Baldwin



Filed Under: BusinessCommissionerscommunityCountyEconomyEmploymentFeaturedHollyLamarLaw EnforcementProwers CountyPublic Safety


About the Author:

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Comments are closed.