Indian Springs votes to hire sheriff’s deputy

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Indian Springs Village officials passed a resolution at the town’s August 16 council meeting aimed at obtaining a Shelby County Sheriff’s deputy for that area.

Indian Springs Mayor Steve Zerkis said the hiring of a deputy will help people feel safer in the surrounding area.

&uot;The first priority of a town government is to provide for the welfare and safety of its residents,&uot; Zerkis said. &uot;If it gives people peace of mind, than it’s worth doing.&uot;

Zerkis said the plan involves a three-way deal with the Shelby County Sheriff’s office and the town of Westover, which would share the deputy with Indian Springs.

&uot;We still have to go over the contract with the county,&uot; Zerkis said. &uot;But if all goes well, we would like to see a deputy patrolling by Oct. 1.&uot;

Indian Springs and Westover must both agree to the terms of the contract for the new deputy and be willing to pay their part of nearly $65,000 to fund the new patrol.

Zerkis said the total cost for the new deputy would be around $85,000, with the county picking up the extra $20,000.

Westover Mayor Mark McLaughlin is hoping to address the issue as soon as possible.

&uot;We’re real close to being ready,&uot; McLaughlin said. &uot;We will be taking up the issue immediately.&uot;

McLaughlin said he expected the proposal to be on the next agenda but noted that it could take two council meetings to get a resolution passed.

The resolution could face opposition from Westover residents, however, with the city proposing to tax the police jurisdiction to help pay for the deputy’s patrol.

Zerkis said responses from Indian Springs have been overwhelmingly positive because of the peace of mind that the deputy’s presence would give his town.

&uot;The quality of the individuals at the Sheriff’s office and the fact that they are well trained makes the cost for this project very reasonable.&uot;