Officials consider extending patrol agreement

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 8, 2008


VALLEY GRANDE &8212; City officials want to continue their relationship with Dallas County Sheriff&8217;s Department.

Mayor Tom Lee, who negotiated an agreement for patrols with Sheriff Harris Huffman after two Valley Grande businesses were robbed last year, said the police presence makes a difference.

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The city entered an agreement to pay deputies overtime in November 2007 in the wake of an armed robbery of the Peoples Bank & Trust branch on Sept. 13, 2007, and the attempted armed robbery of the Dollar General Store on Oct. 26, 2007.

The cost, Lee said, would range between $15,000 and $20,000. While exact figures were unavailable, Lee said the patrols have cost the city about $15,000.

FBI agents joined local law enforcement to lead the investigation of the bank robbery. They have searched for three armed gunmen, who entered wearing hoods and took over the bank. They escaped with an undetermined amount of cash.

In the Dollar General incident a gunman opened fire inside the store, but there were no injuries. No arrests have been made in either.

There have been no armed robberies in Valley Grande since. Lee said the police presence has made the difference, initially requesting help patrolling area businesses during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

Valley Grande, in its fourth year of incorporation, does not have a police department. Boyd Pugh, public safety director, was hired by the city last year.