Budget woes may cause City of Newton to close police department - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Budget woes may cause City of Newton to close police department

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
NEWTON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

"We've done a lot of things over the last few years, and it's cost money," said Newton Mayor David Carr.

And in recent years, Mayor Carr says all too often that's money that the city has not had in its budget. Because of flat revenues for at least the past five years, he says city officials have had to dip into the city's reserve funds to meet needs. 

With the situation on track to remain the same next year, Mayor Carr is exploring several options. One of those is to close the police department in Newton, and have the Newton County Sheriff's office to handle law enforcement there.  

He says this change could likely save the city about $300,000.

"We would have permanent deputies in town," said the mayor. "This would probably be done gradually. The dispatch would be looked at first.'"

Newton Police Chief Harvey Curry other officers are against the proposal.

"It sounds good," said Newton PD Narcotics Chief Stanley Wash. "It might even look good on paper, but when you come to the reality of it you can easily say they're going to be here, but I'm quite sure that if something real detrimental goes on in the county those deputies would be called away from this area."

 When it comes to addressing the city's money woes Mayor Carr says his top suggestion is to make changes when it comes to health insurance, and allow the city to continue to pay for employees individual coverage, but require employees to pay all the cost for relatives who are on their family plan.

"What I'm going to do is give the board four or five different alternatives for saving money, and hopefully after the first of the year we can implement some of the things that I've given'em," said Mayor Carr.

In all, 18 people are employed with the Newton Police Department. Mayor Carr says each year the department's budget is roughly 900-thousand dollars. According to the last census, approximately 3,372 people live in Newton.

Copyright 2015 MSNewsNow. All rights reserved. Information from WTOK

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