KY town looks to hire private security to patrol www.privateofficer.com
Middletown KY May 31 2012 To save money, the Middletown City Commission is considering hiring a private security company to patrol the city.
The city currently contracts with Louisville Metro Police, which provides off-duty officers at $50 an hour, for up to 45 hours a month, Mayor Byron Chapman said.
The city pays for the extra service to make Middletown as safe as possible, he said. The off-duty officers typically run radar and keep an eye on homes during their shifts.
Chapman said the Louisville Metro officers have adequately enforced laws in Middletown, but their services could be provided at a lower rate.
At the request of the City Commission, city attorney John Singler compiled a list of three companies used by other small cities in Louisville. He said the companies charge less — $35 an hour — and also employ off-duty police officers, but not necessarily from the Louisville Metro Police Department.
Chapman will speak with representatives from from the three companies — Five-O Enterprises, Off-Duty Police Services and Neighborhood Security and Asset Protection — before addressing the issue at the June 14 commission meeting.
Chapman said he is unsure if Louisville Metro Police will negotiate its current price for patrols and has yet to approach the department to talk about rates.
Middletown will allocate $45,000 of next fiscal year’s budget to security. It had appropriated $35,000 for security in this year’s budget.
With more money budgeted for security, Chapman said the city would use a less expensive service more.
Chapman said he and the four members of the commission are not sure they want to switch to one of the security companies.
Because the Louisville Metro Police Division 8 headquarters is in Middletown and officers work their regular beats out of there, it has been easier for police to recognize crime patterns in the area.
“They know the trends of break-ins and other crimes,” Chapman said. “With the new agencies, it’s not like they’ve been here all the time.”
Chapman said he would like the three companies and Louisville Metro Police to send representatives to a commission meeting to make a pitch for Middletown’s business.
“Money is always an issue,” Chapman said. “But let’s find out more information before we move forward.”