The Vandalia Board of Aldermen have revisited policing Laddonia.
Under a draft contract, Laddonia would have an officer on duty for 40 hours — or more given the circumstances. At $100,000 per year, the contract would be for a term of three years. Vandalia could cop out of the venture if it found costs exceed the contract limit.
“There is no decision to made today,” Vandalia City Administrator Alan Winders told the board during its Tuesday, March 12, meeting. “I anticipate the contract will be in front of you perhaps as early as April, and I want to make sure you had ample opportunities to consider this matter and the service impacts on the community and answer what questions you have.”
Vandalia Police Chief Tony Laird said the agreement would allow for three officers on duty when an officer is slated for time in Laddonia. He said two officers may be placed in Laddonia at first to get the ball rolling.
“The service impacts should be better (for Vandalia) because this will cause us to have two officers on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week, which we have never had before.” Laird told to the board.
Winders said the contract would require an up to one-and-a-half equivalent of additional personnel. The department would also reinstate its lieutenant position.
Depending on the severity of a crime, Laird added the three officers could be dispatched to either Vandalia or Laddonia at one time within the constraints of the contract. If Laddonia’s 40 hours are up and an officer is needed, an officer would still be made available to Laddonia — but not for free.
Laird said while an officer would be slated for 40 hours per week in Laddonia, additional investigation time or dispatches to the city may require extra services that would spill over the allotted hours.
“A good deal of investigation time could be handled while an officer was on duty in Laddonia but certainly could not all be done while an officer is on duty.” Laird said. “All that (extra) time would need to be deducted from the 40-hour weekly patrol period unless the City of Laddonia opted to pay for the extra service,” Laird said.
The extra time, he said, would stem from the various reports and interviews needed, which vary due to the type of crime committed. He said in cases when video and audio recordings are needed, subjects would need to be handled at the Vandalia Police Station where the equipment is.
Laird said other instances of additional time would come in the form of trips out of town, i.e. Jefferson City to drop off evidence at the crime lab or Columbia for juvenile cases.
Read the full report in The Vandalia Leader’s March 20 issue.