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 Agreement Between K-town, County Taken Off Table

August 13, 2008 - An agreement approved by the Henry County Commissioners last week that would have had the Henry County Sheriff's Department assisting the Knightstown Police Department with a staffing shortage will not be presented to the Knightstown Town Council for its approval.

Commissioners unanimously approved the Police Protection Agreement between the HCSD and Knightstown Town Council during their Aug. 6 meeting. According to the agreement, which had not yet been approved by the Knightstown Town Council, the KPD was experiencing "an emergency staffing problem" that "may exist for a period of several weeks."

Terry Guerin, a member of the Knightstown Town Council and one of the council's two police commissioners, told The Banner Tuesday afternoon that he had just spoken with Knightstown Chief of Police Danny Baker about the agreement. He said Baker told him he will not present the agreement to the council at its Aug. 21 monthly meeting and that the agreement would not be pursued.

"It's just going to die," Guerin said. "He said he's not going to bring it up."

Besides Baker, the KPD has three other full-time officers, two part-time officers, and six unpaid reserve officers. Two of the department's full-time officers, however, are not currently available.

KPD officer Derek Hall sustained injuries to his ankle and elbow in late July while responding to a call on foot, and has not yet been cleared to return to full duty. Another of the KPD full-time officer, Tony Lorton, is currently attending training at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy and is not expected to return until early September.

The agreement approved by the commissioners last week stated that the Knightstown Town Council would have paid the HCSD $10 an hour for a member of the sheriff's department to provide the KPD with assistance. Under the agreement, which was to be in effect Aug. 1 through Sept. 30, the HCSD would "furnish routine patrols of police protection for all residents and areas of Knightstown" while using the HCSD's equipment.

Knightstown Town Council President Valerie Trump and council members Guerin and Bob Weber all told The Banner they had not been aware that an agreement between the council and the HCSD had been drafted and approved by the commissioners. Guerin and Weber, the council's two police commissioners, both said Baker had not approached them about entering into an agreement with the HCSD to help out with the KPD's staffing issues.

The Knightstown Town Council's regular monthly meeting on Thursday, Aug. 21, will start at 7 p.m. The meeting will be held in the council chambers at Knightstown Town Hall, 26 S. Washington St.


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