Newberry Police Department
Last year Newberry City Commissioners offered $137,000 to cover theÂ MSTU fee.Â Â This year, they're willing to pay over $600,000 for an independent law enforcement unit.
City manager Keith Ashby says they're willing to pay the countyÂ $616,000 for five Alachua County Sheriff's Deputies to patrol Newberry 24/7.Â "We need some increased security, so we believe this is the answer."
That answer is about $200,000 more than theÂ MSTU fee... the deputies would work exclusively in Newberry.Â Â Alachua County Manager, Randall Reed, says that sounds fair.Â "If the sheriff wishes to have this additional number of officers, the five officers, to serve Newberry, Newberry should certainly pay all of that amount."
Sheriff Sadie Darnell was not available to discuss her negotiations with Newberry, but Reed says if an agreement is met, it could be a mutually beneficial situation.Â "Anything that brings equity to the situation is something that we're interested in seeing happen."
And Ashby says it's definitely a win-win situation... in emergencies, the sheriff's office would have that many more deputies andÂ that much more equipment.Â "It does give us an independent police department which isÂ ultimately an asset to the county because they will be deputies from the sheriff's department."
Following negotiations with the Alachua County Sheriff's Office, the Newberry City Commissioners will have to give their final approval.
By Ted Latiak, WCJB TV 20 News
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