Garrison council votes to terminate law enforcement contract for 2020

Published: Aug. 8, 2019 at 10:36 PM CDT
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The council members of the City of Garrison voted 4-2 against having a law enforcement contract for next year.

The City of Garrison currently has a contract with the McLean County Sheriff's Department for more than $160,000. Four deputies are in charge of the area, according to Mclean Sheriff J.R. Kerzmann.

Kerzmann says Garrison is one of their bigger contracts when it comes to calls for service.

This week council members voted against having the coverage in the coming year.

"I never saw this coming," said Sheriff Kerzmann. "We haven't gotten any calls on the services we're lacking or anything like that. Just got a call from the mayor yesterday [Wednesday] giving me a heads up because the paper was publishing it and they weren't going to renew the contract."

Your News Leader spoke with one of the two council members, Paul Schlichting, that voted to continue their contract with the sheriff's department.

"I wasn't really for it and that's because we don't have a plan B. In my opinion we should have thought it through better," said Schlichting.

He says it's important that they have people that protect their community.

Schlichting says the cost of the contract did come up in the conversation during the decision.

"It's a budget thing and yeah it was talked about and there were other issues talked on there," said Schlichting.

He says communication was another issue brought up.

"If there's an issue we need to communicate more often," said Schlichting.

Kerzmann says if the decision is finalized on September 1st, they'll have to adapt and "do what they have to do."

Schlichting says he hopes to have a sit down with the sheriff's department and have a conversation before decisions are set in stone.