Valley Grande discusses adding two deputies

Published 10:05 pm Monday, February 1, 2016

By Chelsea VanceThe Selma Times-Journal

The Valley Grande City Council discussed adding patrol deputies during Monday night’s meeting.

Councilwoman Jane Craig suggested the city work with the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office to add two deputies.

She recently meet with the sheriff’s department to see how much it would cost for the city to bring on two deputies with each working 20 hours a week and on a rotating schedule.

It would cost $28 per hour or a total of $58,000 a year.

“The sheriff’s department has to patrol the entire county. Unless we have somebody hired for this area, they [deputies] might not be here. They might be in Orrville or Sardis,” Craig said.

She said the proposal was made to assure that someone would be on patrol in Valley Grande at all times.

“We have had a lot of break-ins. It has stopped for a little while, but it’s going to start back up. Crime is going to happen,” Craig said. “This is something to show the city that we’re doing something for all of the people.”

Starting in October, the city entered an agreement to dedicate deputies for 40 hours a week at $25 an hour or $1,000 a week.

Mayor of Valley Grande Wayne Labbe said that this action was taken after he noticed an increase in burglaries from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, while most residents were at work.

“Being a small city, we can’t afford a police department. That’s cars, dispatchers 24/7, and we can’t afford that,” Labbe said.

He said the city investing in deputies that patrol just Valley Grande is a solution to that problem.

“If we have a problem in Valley Grande, they only got two cars out, one of them may be in Orrville and the other may be on the Southside of town,” Labbe said.

The matter was not passed Monday but is expected to be revisited soon.