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Fort Atkinson and Spillville are now interested in talking to the Winneshiek County Sheriff's Office about additional police coverage

Posted: Mon, Apr 9, 2018 2:09 PM

In the late fall of 2016, Winneshiek County signed a "memorandum of understanding" with the cities of Calmar and Ossian to provide after-hours police coverage in the two towns.

The Sheriff's Office eventually hired the Calmar Police Department's second officer, Andy Hageman, as a sheriff's deputy.  His schedule called for spending 1,040 of his work hours each year in Calmar and Ossian, but the other half of his time in the two communities.

Calmar and Ossian pay the Sheriff's Office $22 per year per city resident to help cover the cost of Hageman's salary and benefits.

So how has the cooperative program worked?  Well enough that Spillville and Fort Atkinson officials have now contacted the Sheriff's Office to begin discussions about having a similar arrangement.

Sheriff Dan Marx says the big question in this case will be workload--the agreements with Calmar and Ossian allowed the Sheriff's Department to increase its staff size while getting half of the new deputy's salary paid by the two cities.  But Hageman's work schedule is full, so there are questions about how the Sheriff's Office could find an employee to spend a certain number of hours each year in the two communities.

Marx makes clear that all communities in the county receive "basic patroling" without signing an agreement with the county.  The communities which have signed agreements with the Sheriff's Office have done so to get additional hours of coverage.