Valley Grande mayor pleased with extra deputies

Published 9:35 pm Thursday, March 24, 2016

Valley Grande Mayor Wayne Labbe said he has seen a decrease in the city’s crime since officers from the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department started extra patrols of the area in February.

“The people of Valley Grande appreciate the extra patrol and feel safer,” Labbe said.

Labbe said the officers are on a three-month trial.

At the end of the period, council members will make an evaluation to see if they will decide to keep longer hours.

“We’ll discuss it and probably extend the time for three to six more months. Especially through the summer because you have a lot of people who take vacations and extra patrol would really help,” Labbe said.

The idea came from former city council member Jane Craig, who said that the town needed extra protection at a meeting in early February. Two weeks later the council decided in favor of the proposal. Craig has since resigned from the council.

Labbe said 30 to 40 additional hours each week are split between two deputies.

Council member Donna Downs said she feels like the extra security was a good idea.

“The sheriff’s department does an excellent job in patrolling Valley Grande. If there are any problems they stay on top of them. They make sure people are watched over and have good protection,” Downs said.

She said she believes that even though the city cannot afford to have a police department, the sheriff deputies do a good job. She has also seen less crime since they have had more hours of patrol.

“It costs around a quarter of a million dollars to have a police force. That’s more money than what we have coming in,” Downs said.

The city pays $28 per hour totaling $840 to $1,120 every week for the extra patrol.

Council member Kenneth Martin said it is important for the people of Valley Grande to feel as safe as possible.

“Everyone wants to feel safe in their own home and they should be,” Martin said.

He said he believes that once the three month trial is up, it is likely council members will keep extra patrol hours.