By Faith Callens, For the Tribune
CENTER POINT — The Center Point city council decided to vote on the Jefferson County contract involving the request for the potential increase of deputies and the potential increase of public safety services within the city.
“Personally, we feel very ignored, accountability could have been presented by the Sheriff’s department, they aren’t open to add to the contract, but our residents suffer if we don’t accept the contract and the residents still suffer if we do,” President D.M. Collins said.
Councilwoman Ebonee Copeland said she felt like the cycle between the council and the Sheriff’s department would never end if they didn’t stop it now.
“It’s like where does it end? It’s like they already not showing us they are not willing to negotiate so why do we keep going back and forth with them,” Copeland said. “At what point, do we just do something, it’s like we are in limbo here and it’s like the residents feel like we are not doing anything.”
All the members of the council voted “no” on the Sheriff’s enhanced contract.
The Sheriff’s enhanced contract included higher costs for six deputies which means two deputies per shift and the amount was $2,624.98 per month. The new proposed amount for the agreement was $53,624.98.
Since the first of the year, the council said they have gone back and forth with Jefferson County officials through electronic statements and had several meetings with the county to decide whether they could come to a mutual understanding according to the council’s request.
“We asked for patrolling, we asked for each contract deputy to have something with our city ordinances on there, we asked for an increase in community policing, we asked for a notification when they would switch out deputies that were contracted to us, and we asked that the dispatchers that are on call realize that we have our specific contractors,” Councilwoman Tiffany Moore said.
The council said they waited on a response back from Jefferson County but there was never a response to the counter contract that they initially provided.
The council also stated that once the officials from Jefferson County did respond, all their requests were denied.
Since the council has decided not to accept the enhanced contract with Jefferson County, they will continue to receive deputies to patrol the city but not have the ability to say for how long or what areas they are patrolling.
- The council approved three items within the meeting: ATRIP agreement, the Shell Service Station alcohol license transfer and the RSA employee’s retirement system.
- The council approved the ATRIP agreement involving ALDOT and Center Point for the construction of sidewalks surrounding the Center Point Community Center.
- The council approved the alcohol license transfer for the Shell Service Station because the business currently has new owners.
- The council approved the RSA employee’s retirement system to allow a one-time bonus for the city employees who are close to retiring.
The next city council meeting is on July 7.