Salem considering extra sheriff patrol

Salem is the latest municipality to hear from Sheriff David Beth about what he sees as the advantages of the town contracting with his department for extra police protection.

Sheriff David Beth

Sheriff David Beth

The Sheriff’s Department already patrols Salem, which does not have its own police force. But two west of the I municipalities — Paddock Lake and Bristol — contract for extra policing provided by the Sheriff’s Department.

Beth made a presentation to the Town Board last week about Salem becoming the third.

“You guys are probably the busiest” municipality the department covers, Beth said. Salem, at over 11,000 residents, is the third largest municipality in Kenosha County, behind Pleasant Prairie and Kenosha.

Town Chairman Linda Valentine said she invited Beth to make the presentation.

“I have heard of many people expressing a need for more police presence in the town,” Valentine said. “We are a large community¬†with well over 11,000 people.”

This was a good time to start considering such an arrangement because budget preparation is beginning, Valentine said.

“The time to consider the cooperative is now, before we begin detailed budgeting workshops,” Valentine said. “Reviewing now and bringing it to the table now gives all the board members the chance to satisfy their own questions and considerations at the same time in the¬†game plan.”

Valentine favors the move.

linda-valentine-hedshot

Linda Valentine

“I would like us to consider this,” she said.

And when she asked for a show of hands in favor of the proposal among the audience at last week’s Town Board meeting the vast majority of the sizable crowd had a hand raised.

The town could use the deputy to perform whatever appropriate tasks it desires, Beth said. If it chooses to maximize traffic enforcement, the town could realize significant revenue. He thought Bristol, for example, budgeted for $40,000 of revenue as a result of having their own deputy. That money could help offset the cost of the extra patrol, Beth said.

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