City of Greensburg considers going without police department
GREENSBURG, Kan. (KWCH) - A small Kansas town faces a tough decision. The City of Greensburg is considering going without a police department.
The consideration to close the police department consisting of two full-time officers and three part timers is due to budget concerns in the city of a little more than 700 people.
“The City of Greensburg is at a bit of a crossroads with our police department because our current police chief is pending departure,” Greensburg Mayor Matt Christenson explained. “He will actually be leaving employment at the end of September.”
The pending departure leaves the city council divided on the question of whether they should keep the small police department intact.
“We have some council members that believe that continuing the police department and operating it as is is the best way to solve those problems for the city. There are other council members who expressed concerns with the amount of tax dollars that are being invested in the police department,” Christenson said.
The cost of operating the department is not a concern for Greensburg resident Anita Long, among those who want to see the Greensburg Police Department continue.
“Yes, I know how much it costs. Yes, my tax dollars pay for that, and I’m quite comfortable with that,” she said.
If Greensburg decides to do away with its police department, the Kiowa County Sheriff’s Office will handle emergency calls. While the sheriff’s office is in Greensburg, this could mean longer response times with deputies responsible for countywide coverage. The possibility of longer response times is an issue Long said she hopes the city can avoid.
“To me, it’s the safety, you know. When I pick up the phone and call, I know somebody’s going to come.”
It’s up to the city council on how the city will move forward with its law-enforcement coverage.
“Really, the job is for the council to come together and I think find common ground, a compromised solutions,” Christenson said. “At the end of the day, we’re here to serve the citizens of Greensburg and meet their needs as efficiently and effectively as we can with our decision.”
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