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CITY SAYS ‘NO’ TO CONSOLIDATION 6-4-14 LMS

Combining city and county law enforcement was one of the proposals offered by Lemhi County Sheriff Lynn Bowerman when he met last month with the Salmon City Council to discuss city funding for Dispatch services.

At the June 4 council meeting a motion by Councilman Fred Waidely to not consolidate the law enforcement agencies was unanimously passed. During a Public Comment period following that vote former council member Bud Bartlett told the council that when he served as a councilman he favored consolidating city and county law enforcement. He said that after reading Sheriff Lynn Bowerman’s proposal he no longer thinks consolidation would be a good move for the city. He credited Salmon’s fairly low crime rate to the efficiency of the City Police Department. Bartlett said, “I believe Sheriff Bowerman and Police Chief Felker are both doing outstanding jobs with their departments.” He said working together has helped in several recent drug busts in Salmon.

As far as the city contributing to the costs of Dispatch services Bartlett said city residents pay the same county taxes for law enforcement as county residents and that for Dispatch to not take calls from city residents would be a big mistake by the Sheriff’s Office. During the city/county work-session to discuss sharing costs of Dispatch services, Bowerman threatened to stop taking non-emergency calls from city residents as of October 1 if no city funds are forthcoming.

When it came time for the council to approve the city’s bills it unanimously voted to pay all of them except one. That exception was the $84,000 bill submitted by the Sheriff’s Office. In a follow-up unanimous vote the council approved a payment of $10,000 which had already been allocated for Dispatch Services in the city’s 2013-14 budget. The city’s contribution for Dispatch services in the next budget year is yet to be determined.


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