Mayor seeks public input on future of Kane police service

Ted Lutz
Staff Writer

Mayor Brandy Schimp is seeking public input on the future of police service in Kane.
Speaking Wednesday at a meeting of the Kane Borough Council, Schimp said the current around-the-clock police coverage could be diluted, leaving the State Police to respond to emergencies at certain times.
If residents wish to continue with 24/7 coverage by Kane police, there would be costs that might prompt the need for a property tax hike, according to the discussion at the meeting.
"It comes down to what the public wants," the mayor told the council.
The borough police department currently has three full-time officers, including Chief Heath Boyer. The department also has three part-time officers.
Retaining a full-time police department might require the hiring of a fourth full-time officer, according to the discussion. 
Borough Manager Don Payne estimated the cost of hiring a full-time officer at between $50,000 and $70,000, including benefits.
This figure roughly translates into a one-mill increase in property taxes or another $1 in borough taxes for every $1,000 in assessed property valuation.
Asked for his opinion, Boyer said: "I want to stay with 24/7 service."
He said he currently is "run ragged" in trying to fill all the shifts in a 24/7 schedule.
He said he schedules himself to cover certain shifts that don't appeal to the part-time officers to entice them to stay on the borough roster.
The mayor said she is hoping to receive "feedback" from the public through social media and other sources on sentiments for the future of the police department.
Council President Tom Kase said the borough "should be conducting the survey" determine public opinion on the police since council adopts the annual borough budget.

The full article can be found in the printed publication or E-Edition of the Kane Republican, Oct. 11, 2018