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LaCenter, Ky. officials vote to abolish police department

Published: Jun. 29, 2021 at 5:06 PM CDT
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LACENTER, Ky. (KFVS) - LaCenter’s mayor and city council members held a special meeting on Tuesday, June 29 to vote on two ordinances.

They voted 3-2 on an ordinance abolishing the LaCenter Police Department and delayed a repeal of an ordinance on a fee for sales of alcohol.

It was a back-and-forth debate between commissioners in a room full of citizens.

Ultimately, they abolished the police department, which will leave only the sheriff’s department deputies to cover the city.

Rodney Hill, pastor at Fairview Baptist Church in LaCenter, said the Ballard County Sheriff’s Department is a great resource but there was lack of knowledge as to what was going to happen once the LaCenter Police Department was abolished.

“When you talk about abolishing a police department, people get nervous because you’re talking about doing away with something that they are used to having an officer on duty,” Hill said.

“We used to have three deputies here all the time and we have one policeman sitting there costing us $100,000 a year and I told them it would be cost efficient to do away with it,” said LaCenter Council Member Frank Romaine.

The room was mostly filled with people that went there to learn about the ordinances they were voting on.

“They’re [Ballard County Sheriff deputies] not coming through the neighborhoods as much because we have a police,” Hill said. “So there’s a trade off there, if you’re not going to have the police then you have to increase the patrols. And that’s what they did not convey to the people, that they are going to do that but there are logistics that are going to have to be worked out.”

The abolishing of the police department will go into the second reading in the next session.

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