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Brillion to explore bringing county deputies in to patrol the city

The city wants to know if sheriff's patrols would be cost-effective without affecting services
Published: Jul. 16, 2020 at 5:00 PM CDT
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BRILLION, Wis. (WBAY) -The City of Brillion is looking into the possibility of having the Calumet County Sheriff’s Office police within its boundaries. Brillion’s city council approved a measure asking the county for a proposal on what that would cost. But the idea isn’t sitting well with everyone.

Brillion Mayor Mel Edinger says he didn’t mean to ruffle feathers when he came up with the idea of exploring the possibility of the county sheriff’s office patrolling Brillion instead of the city’s police department.

According to Mayor Edinger, “We are very happy with our police force, they’re very well liked in this city and they do a great job, so it’s nothing like that. It’s cost, and we’ve got to be cost-effective.”

With taxes in Brillion already pretty high for a city its size, and the loss of more than a half a million dollars in tax revenue with Brillion Ironworks gone, Edinger says he’s simply asking the county to put together a proposal to see the cost of it policing the city versus the police department. The police department’s expense budget is almost a million dollars for 24/7 coverage with backup.

Edinger's just trying to find out if the county can provide the same exact services for less money, adding, "I don't know what's feasible, if it's a hundred thousand, two hundred thousand, what it can be and it's all going to depend on the coverage we want, so it may not go anywhere."

City council member TJ Moehr voted against asking the county for a proposal, citing his support for the police department.

“It’s a slap in the face. ‘Here, come to work, just so you know we’re interviewing someone for less money and if they take it you’re gone,‘” says Moehr.

Moehr says you can’t put a price on safety, and while he understands the financial aspect he believes changes to the police department aren’t where cuts should be made.

According to Moehr, “I think there’s many other options to save money. We’ve got budget time rolling up here and we’re going to take some hard looks at stuff, and I don’t think this is one of them.”

The mayor says this idea is very preliminary and he’s not even sure if it’s the right thing to do.

Copyright 2020 WBAY. All rights reserved.

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