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Inkom City Council votes to get rid of the police department

Bannock County Sheriff Tony Manu says his office will provide law enforcement services to the town of Inkom. | Kalama Hines,
INKOM — The city of Inkom will now be patrolled by Bannock County Sheriff’s deputies rather than its own police force.
At its most recent monthly meeting, the Inkom City Council voted to drop its department and instead contract the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office for its law enforcement needs. That contract began Monday, according to mayor Max Shaffer, who told that the option to defund its department has been on the council’s agenda “several times” in the past.
“We had some personnel changes that made it more difficult to make everything the way it should,” Shaffer said. “We investigated and decided that contracting with the county was the most financially prudent thing we could do.”
Not only will it be the more financially beneficial, contracting the sheriff’s office will create a level continuity the residents of Inkom have not had prior, according to Bannock County Sheriff Tony Manu.
As Manu explained, in the past, Inkom residents in need of police assistant would call the Inkom police department, which employed only part-time officers. If no one was on-duty — which Manu said was any time after 9 p.m. and some entire days — the caller would have to leave a message or call the Bannock non-emergency line.
“Basically, what it does for the citizens of Inkom, they call us for everything now,” Manu told “Now they’re calling an office where there’s someone there 24/7.”
Inkom joins Lava Hot Springs, McCammon, Downey and Arimo in contracting the sheriff’s office for law enforcement. As Manu explained, the current fiscal year is the last on a three-year contract for those cities.
So, Inkom will pay the same contracted rate — roughly $80,000 — for the next year, then all five cities will enter contract negotiations for continuing coverage.
As part of its savings, Manu said the city of Inkom will not only shed the payroll for several part-time officers, it will also drop benefits packages and no longer require insurance policies.
“In the service world, it’s a better deal — more bang for their buck, you could say,” Manu said.
Asked if he sees this as a longterm fix, Shaffer said he expects it could be a permanent decision.
“There has not been much discussion,” the mayor said. “But, as far as I’m concerned … I see this as being a forever thing.”
The post Inkom City Council votes to get rid of the police department appeared first on East Idaho News.

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