Lisbon: No to police proposal
August 23, 2013 · Jennifer Pandich
Lisbon isn't keen on a proposal from Mount Vernon for paying for some police help the two cities receive from each other.
Mount Vernon police chief Mark Winder has presented a resolution that details how emergency services could be more formally provided from one town when no one is on duty in the other. The Lisbon City Council discussed it last week.
"I am not in favor of combining forces," Lisbon police chief Rick Scott told the Lisbon city council.
He also said he was not comfortable with the agreement proposed by Winder. The city council voted unanimously to return the agreement to Mount Vernon unsigned.
Scott told the Sun he would have preferred a meeting with Mount Vernon leaders, instead of just receiving the document.
"It would have been better to sit down and talk," he said.
The proposal was presented for when either city requests assistance "on an as needed basis, more specifically when one community does not have someone physically on duty."
In the proposal, the city requesting service would pay the other $75 per hour, per officer for any portion of the first hour, and $75 per hour in 10-minute intervals ($12.50) for any time after the first hour. Winder has pointed out that Mount Vernon has 24-hours-a-day coverage, seven days a week, while Lisbon does not.
Lisbon council member Larry McAtee was the most outspoken against the proposed agreement.
"For three years (Winder) has been trying to get us to agree to combine forces," he said. "When is he going to get that we aren't interested?"
He then went on to say that the only way an agreement might be reached would be through firing both current police chiefs and hiring someone who has no ties to either community.
City administrator Chris Yancey also objected to the agreement.
"Where does it stop?" she asked.
Currently, there is an agreement in place in which the cities provide mutual aid (28-E), with no payment required.
Generally, dispatchers call the Mount Vernon department when no one is on duty in Lisbon without trying to reach anyone in Lisbon, according to Scott.
Lisbon is seeking a new officer to add to the other two currently on staff. One difficulty is in sending the officer to training: The request for training in Cedar Rapids has been denied, increasing the training cost from $1,000 to about $8,000, according to Scott.
City council members said they also would like to see numbers regarding how many responses are made by each department to the other city.