MINTURN — Minturn could decide tonight whether to keep its own police department, or contract with another law enforcement agency.
The Town Council is scheduled to talk about it during today’s meeting. A private session begins at 5 p.m. where they’ll discuss negotiations, followed by a public work session at 6 p.m., and their regular meeting at 6:30 p.m.
The town is considering proposals from the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office and the Avon Police Department. Under either of those agreements, those agencies would provide police protection for the town.
The other option is to hire more officers and maintain their own police force, said Jim White, Minturn’s town manager.
Right now, Minturn spends $422,278 per year on its police force, according to the town’s budget.
Minturn’s police chief, Brad Lamb, resigned Jan. 21, leaving the town with one police officer, White said.
The Eagle County Sheriff’s office has been supplementing Minturn’s police efforts since Lamb’s resignation, White said.
“We are protected in the town of Minturn,” White said. “We’ve always had backup from the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office.”
Gypsum contracts with the Sheriff’s Office for police protection. Gypsum will pay $750,000 this year, up from $675,000 last year. For that, Gypsum gets school resource officers and at least two deputies dedicated to the town.
The Sheriff’s Office covers salaries and benefits; Gypsum supplies the vehicles and the equipment that goes in them. Gypsum officials say it’s a good deal for their town, and the numbers appear to bear them out.
Eagle budgeted $1,363,462 for its police department this year. That’s up from $1,317,000 in 2013, and $1,315,000 in 2012.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.