Small Towns Cut Down On Patrols - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Small Towns Cut Down On Patrols

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SMELTERVILLE, Idaho - A small town in north Idaho is facing a tough decision due to tough economic times. City officials in Smelterville have voted to do away with Shoshone County Law Enforcement patrols. In part because of a tight budget, but also because officials say they weren't seeing the results of what they were paying for. 

It's an issue that has divided this small town, some saying they never saw Shoshone County patrol cars patrolling while others feel it's a bad move with the drug problems in town. It's a decision officials say has to be made. Dennis Rose, a member of the Smelterville City Council said, "What we're not receiving is the patrols. Any kind of a call, they're going to enforce law. The only thing we're not seeing are the patrols." 

The decision to drop patrols from the Shoshone County Sheriff's Department came up at a recent Smelterville City Council meeting. Smelterville was paying the Sheriff's Department around $18,000 a year to patrol the streets. But because officials say the city budget is getting tight, and they believed there was already a "lack" of patrols through the city, payment to the Sheriff's office was suspended. The move wont stop authorities from responding to calls in Smelterville. 

According to Dennis Rose, "Things are tight. We have bond payments that have to be met. Maybe this will wake them up and we'll get better service. That's what I am hoping for." This isn't by any means a new move for North Idaho, the city of Mullan suspended payment for patrols to the Sheriff's Department around five years ago. Mullan cited budget issues as well. 

Shoshone County Sheriff Mitch Alexander was quoted in a local paper as saying, "This will put me in a bind," referring to the department getting less money. Mitch Alexandar was contacted for this story but did not return any messages left. 

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