PERRYVILLE — Police coverage in Perryville and Boyle County was a focal point of discussion at Thursday’s Perryville City Council meeting.
During a recent interview with The Advocate-Messenger, Boyle Sheriff Marty Elliott said his department was dangerously understaffed and had the same number of road deputies as in 1985.
“Sheriff Elliott’s recent comments in the newspaper about manpower in the county have me a little bit concerned,” said Perryville Councilman Harold Jones.
Jones’ initial concern was which jurisdiction would be financially responsible for any overtime incurred if Boyle deputies were unable to promptly respond to a situation and Perryville officers were called as backup.
“I have no problems with officers helping out,” Jones said. “But I am concerned about the potential overtime costs to Perryville.”
Elliott said during a telephone interview this morning that if Perryville officers responded to a situation his deputies were unable to handle, he would “never expect” Perryville to pay for any overtime costs incurred.
Another major concern is that Perryville does not have sufficient funding to allow Police Chief Charles Parks to have a “take-home” cruiser. Thus, Parks cannot safely and efficiently respond to emergencies when he is off duty, Parks said.
Councilman Matt Bottom and Mayor Anne Sleet suggested finding out if the sheriff’s department could help by providing a car. City Attorney Lynne Coleman said due to potential liability and funding issues, she would not expect the sheriff’s department to provide Perryville a police cruiser.
Councilman Billy Matherly said, “There’s no feasible way (for Perryville) to generate more income.”
Jones and Councilwoman Megan Shelby pointed out that Perryville residents are getting free garbage collection which costs the city about $44,000 annually.
If the city charged residents for garbage collection, “... how mad would people get?” Shelby said.
“In a town this size, it would border on outrage,” Councilman Brian Caldwell replied.
Regarding the funding problems, Sleet said, “I don’t know what the answer is.”
City officials ended the discussion with no further action.
In other business, Fire Chief Anthony Young reported he is working with Danville Fire Chief Woody Ball to repair and replace non-working fire hydrants in Perryville. Danville owns the fire hydrants and water lines in Perryville. Thus, Danville city engineers would be in charge of any replacements or repairs, Ball said in a telephone interview this morning.
Officials who recently conducted annual fire hydrant testing found that four hydrants in Perryville are out of service. Young said repairing or replacing the fire hydrants was going to be a “big undertaking” for Danville but that city officials had been very helpful.