The Ottawa County Sheriff's Office has proposed an interlocal agreement for law enforcement services in the City of Picher.
With Picher's dwindling population and uncertainty of future law enforcement, the city's police officers have all sought other employment.
“We advertised for full-time officers and received two applications,” city clerk Carolyn Elmore said. “One of the applicants was not CLEET (Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training) certified and we didn't feel we could invest in having him certified.”
A cooperative agreement between the town and county would place a commissioned officer, provided by the sheriff's office, on duty in Picher.
“This position would ensure coverage for the City of Picher for the hours that are established,” Undersheriff Bob Ernst said. “And all calls for service when no deputy is on duty would be handled by the sheriff's office.”
According to the proposed contract, the City of Picher would pay $2,250 per month to the sheriff's office for law enforcement coverage.
In exchange for the fee, the sheriff's office will cover insurance and workman's compensation of the deputies that would be working inside the City of Picher, as well as providing deputies to respond to calls for service inside the City of Picher.
All deputies working on a part-time basis for the City of Picher will be commissioned through the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office and all CLEET training and certification issues will be handled through the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office. Deputies will be enforcing municipal ordinances and issue municipal citations when deemed appropriate.
“In addition to the $2,250 per month being paid to the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office, the City of Picher would pay $9 per hour to the deputies providing the service,” Ernst said.