Benton County Sheriff’s department will lay off three deputies www.privateofficer.com
Benton County MN Dec 25 2011 Benton County will lay off three of its 15 road patrol deputies after the city of Foley opted to go through with its controversial plan to use private security patrols in the city of 2,600 people about 12 miles north of St. Cloud.
The state attorney general’s office tried to mediate an agreement after Foley announced its private patrol plans last fall, but those talks broke off. The Benton County Board voted 4-1 last week to cut the three deputies to save the $260,000 in salaries, benefits and equipment costs, and offset the loss in revenue from its patrol contract with Foley.
“We’ll still be responding to emergency calls in Foley but with less people,” said Troy Heck, the chief deputy with the Benton County Sheriff’s Department. “That will mean longer response times and less of a police presence in Foley, and out in the county and that could lead to more criminal behavior.”
The layoffs will go into effect in early January. Foley appears to be the first city in Minnesota to rely on private guards for basic patrol duties