Elbert County, Kiowa reach law enforcement deal

Town's police department was disbanded in late March

Staff report
Posted 5/31/19

Elbert County commissioners have approved a deal for the sheriff's office to provide law enforcement services for the Town of Kiowa, according to a news release from the county. On May 22, …

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Elbert County, Kiowa reach law enforcement deal

Town's police department was disbanded in late March

Posted

Elbert County commissioners have approved a deal for the sheriff's office to provide law enforcement services for the Town of Kiowa, according to a news release from the county.

On May 22, commissioners approved an intergovernmental agreement that details the sheriff's office's responsibilities when it comes to calls for service in Kiowa, the county seat. The town's police department disbanded in late March.

“When all local governments that serve our citizens work together, there are good outcomes," Commissioner Chris Richardson said in the release. "This agreement is an excellent example. It provides a framework that ensures the public safety of the residents of the Town of Kiowa without burdening the taxpayers of unincorporated Elbert County. I’m glad the town trustees look to the county as a partner.”

The agreement calls for the town to compensate the county $40,000 for the remainder of this year and $75,000 for 2020. The deal also calls for Kiowa to pay $5,000 for victim advocate services this year and $6,000 for next year.

The IGA outlines the responsibilities of the sheriff's office as follows:

"The type of law enforcement services to be provided by the sheriff, within the boundaries of Kiowa situated in Elbert County, shall be similar to the routine or nonextraordinary law enforcement services provided in unincorporated areas of the County of Elbert and will include patrols, traffic enforcement, call response, ordinary criminal investigations which do not exceed an average amount of time or personnel hours of an average investigation... SWAT team response services, law enforcement communication center services, but shall not include enforcement of municipal ordinances."

Kiowa officials disbanded the police department effective March 29, citing concerns with the level of service and a lack of revenue to support the department, which served a town of fewer than 1,000 residents. The police department had just one full-time officer, who doubled as chief, one part-time officer and one reserve officer.

“We know that public safety is critically important to our town residents, as is the financial stability of the Town,” Mayor Gabriele Cheatham said in the county's news release announcing the agreement. “We appreciate the county’s willingness to compromise on some of the elements of the agreement. We’re confident the residents of Kiowa will be well-served.”

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