A meeting is scheduled for Monday evening (July 23rd) at the Summerville Depot to discuss the possibility of doing away with the Summerville Police Department and letting the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Department take over law enforcement in Summerville.
The meeting is being spearheaded by two Summerville City Councilmen, Joe Money and Earl Parris. Summerville Mayor Harry Harvey says that he will be attending this evening’s meeting, but that the meeting is not being called by the City of Summerville.
The idea to merge law enforcement has been discussed before, but the two councilmen want to explore ways that the idea could save money for the city. Currently, the City of Summerville pays out over $1 million per year for law enforcement.
Chattooga County Sheriff Mark Schrader says that if the city did away with their police force, the responsibility for providing law enforcement would fall to the sheriff’s office. The sheriff said that in the event that the city should do away with their police force, he would organize his department to provide law enforcement in the city – but that it would be an additional tax burden on county taxpayers.
Schrader said that while the county could create a county-wide police department, he is opposed to that idea. Schrader told The Summerville News last week that as sheriff, he answers to the voters of Chattooga County. That would not be the case with a county-wide police department.
This evening’s meeting is scheduled for 6:00 at the Historic Summerville Depot, at 119 East Washington Street.
(AM 1180 Chattooga County Radio)