Decision Time Walnut Cove Police Department

11:04 PM, Jun 27, 2013   |    comments
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Stokes County, NC-- Walnut Cove in Stokes County will no longer have a police department as it has been decided at a meeting that it will be disbanded by August 1, 2013.

The commissioners voted 3-1 to abolish the police department. Walnut Cove's mayor said it was a difficult decision that had to be made because of money.

Leaders are now talking about what it means for all those involved.  

That means Stokes County Sheriff Mike Marshall will have to deal with the aftermath. The sheriff's office will have to extend their coverage to the town, but the town doesn't just hand over the reins. Walnut Cove has expectations.

"They wanted to make sure that they had a dedicated officer that would be dedicated to the town 24 hours a day, seven days a week," said Sheriff Marshall.

Sheriff Marshall estimates he would need four additional deputies to ensure 24-hour coverage in Walnut Cove. The sheriff will consider hiring the police officers that would lose their jobs.

Right now, it cost Walnut Cove $385,000 to operate its police department. It's certainly a cost-savings move to drop it, but the town would still have to pay the sheriff's office to take on the added responsibility.

Sheriff Marshall knows there will be some challenges, but he's willing to work with the town to ensure safety.

He's been talking with Sheriff Michael Welch in Caswell County because he has experience. The town of Yanceyville got rid of its police department in 2006 and the Caswell County Sheriff's Office took over.

Sheriff Welch said it was a rough transition but the most important part is ironing out the money and determining how much the town will pay the sheriff's office.

The Sheriff told us on Wednesday that he has a meeting next week with the county and the town manager to work out more details.

The Triad's biggest counties, Guilford and Forsyth never had to take over police jurisdictions. However, both county sheriffs have contracts with a few towns.

Clemmons, Lewisville, and Rural Hall pay the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office a certain amount of money for enhanced patrol. In Guilford County, Jamestown and Stokesdale pay for specific coverage.

WFMY News 2

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