City of Hancock enters into discussions on county police protection
Two members of the Hancock City Council met last week with the Stevens County Sheriff and county commissioners regarding law enforcement coverage for the city of Hancock. Mayor Bruce Malo and Councilman Dennis Schroeder met with commissioners Don Wohlers and Ron Staples, Sheriff Jason Dingman and County Attorney Aaron Jordan at the Stevens County highway garage on Thursday.
The meeting focused on the number of hours and how much it could possibly cost the city of Hancock to go with county coverage for law enforcement instead of having a full-time police officer. There was also discussion on what the city could do in regard to the city police car and how this might affect the police chief position in Hancock.
The meeting was strictly a preliminary event with no decision made. The county asked several questions and will now be working out the logistics and figures for the council. They will possibly be coming up with an hourly figure for the coverage and letting the council know how many hours they will be able to provide for Hancock.
Mayor Bruce Malo stated that he had also visited with Hancock Police Chief Matt Flogstad about the cost cutting measures the city may implement to the law enforcement budget.
Hancock council members held a discussion with the county about law enforcement coverage about three years ago but at that time opted to keep a full-time officer in place. With a new county sheriff, the council members decided to check into the options once again and see what Sheriff Dingman comes up with for numbers for the city.
When these numbers are determined, the council members will discuss the options at a regular council meeting. The next city council meeting is set for April 8. However, it is not known as yet if the county will have the numbers ready by then. A special meeting may be called for this issue and, if so, the public will be notified. The public is welcome to attend any city council meeting to offer their opinion on decisions such as this.