Colonial Beach may abolish police force

Colonial Beach may abolish police force

There are 81 comments on the Westmoreland News story from Oct 30, 2013, titled Colonial Beach may abolish police force. In it, Westmoreland News reports that:

Colonial Beach Vice-Mayor Tommy Edwards said out loud what other council members have been emailing: Town policing should be handed over or merged with the Westmoreland County Sheriff's Office.

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John W

Lawrenceville, VA

#1 Oct 30, 2013
It will happen soon. Why do you think dispatch moved. Why do you think we have not hired a police chief.
Colonial Beach will have sheriffs deputes in the police station. I truly hope it happens soon. Sheriff know where all the drugs and crooks are. punks will be sent home or jail.
Bring them on.
Our police know this also, but do nothing. Help on the way.
About Time

Hampton, VA

#2 Oct 30, 2013
I agree that it is at least a good idea to look at the merger. What does it hurt to at least look at it. From what I hear in town with people being frustrated with the actions of the PD then why not see. Really, what can it harm to see what the option is.????
Karen

Saint Augustine, FL

#3 Oct 30, 2013
Interesting to see that the Council has, once again, been discussing issues outside of the public forum. Hey Andrea, how's it going?
Karen

Saint Augustine, FL

#4 Oct 30, 2013
Have you and Val made up their minds yet?
outse

Alexandria, VA

#5 Oct 31, 2013
if they abolish the pd then maby r taxes will go down since the pd is the biggest part of the town budget
yea right

Tappahannock, VA

#6 Oct 31, 2013
Think the issue is abolish the PD not merge. One is Sheriff is a elected official and has hiring powers of itself, second if PD officers are as bad as stated why would he want them. If you look at the Charter it says they "(May) have a Police Department". If that happens Westmoreland already has officers based on population of Colonial Beach so new officers will be hired. Since they previously agreed to pay for Dispatching, will we still pay if no officers assigned. Or will that be extra over what our County Taxes already cover. It appears they have worked themselves into a box by not thinking through the issue. So far only comment listed was cost of the PD. Have they prepared a "Request for Cost" Proposal identifying what services they are expecting in manning and coverage including equipment for the Sheriff to provide current and projected cost and then compare to current budget projections. We are already paying a pro-rated share of County cost how will that figure in. Hopefully they do their homework before hand and not a after thought. Public Safety is the most important issue.
Mad Hatter

Alexandria, VA

#7 Oct 31, 2013
Good they do not do much anyway except sit at 7-11 and drink coffee. Golf carts get stolen on a regular basis nothing is done about that they will not even investigate.
John W

Warsaw, VA

#8 Oct 31, 2013
The sheriff will not put up with our "officers". I would think most of them would be fired. Chief Hawkins will probably come back. Val or Council will have no jurisdiction over Sheriffs personnel.
CB_Newbie

Midlothian, VA

#9 Oct 31, 2013
The budget would go down, but it would be up to the town council to decide if taxes come down with it. Westmoreland County I assume would increase taxes to compensate for the consolidation. If we can even legally do this in any way shape or form.
Broke

Upper Marlboro, MD

#10 Oct 31, 2013
CB_Newbie wrote:
The budget would go down, but it would be up to the town council to decide if taxes come down with it. Westmoreland County I assume would increase taxes to compensate for the consolidation. If we can even legally do this in any way shape or form.
U will pay either way. If u think your taxes will go down u r only dreaming.
Beach Goddess

Warsaw, VA

#11 Oct 31, 2013
CB would have to contract with the sheriff's office and would have to pay, just as we do now for the combined dispatch. And, it is costing us 100,000 MORE a year than prior to combining them.

More money, less police coverage, yeah, that's what CB needs.
Maybe

Fredericksburg, VA

#12 Oct 31, 2013
outse wrote:
if they abolish the pd then maby r taxes will go down since the pd is the biggest part of the town budget
And you don't think your County taxes will go up. Who do you think will pay for the additional deputies the tooth fairy
Not a Cop

Tacoma, WA

#13 Oct 31, 2013
Scary...response time from 7-11 isn't too bad but from Montross? Or Kinsale? That's a long drive. Think long and hard CB pols. The "good" thing about CB cops is that they generally stay within the CB border..
mike

King George, VA

#14 Oct 31, 2013
in past few weeks c.b.p.d. has left town limits to assist Westmorland just the fact. who will assist c.b. when our cops are gone Tommy Edwards needs to get a clue
yea right

Tappahannock, VA

#15 Nov 1, 2013
It is amazing Tommy wants someone else to review and rank for Police Chief but not needed to discuss abolishing CBPD. And Seeber saying have 1 person and call him Chief will work. Seems they are just throwing things out and see what sticks.

“C. Green”

Since: Sep 12

Colonial Beach

#16 Nov 1, 2013
If anyone on the Council would understand the impact of our budgetary decisions on our first responders, it is Mr. Edwards and Mr. Curtin. The citizens of Colonial Beach have demanded, through the actions of past council’s decisions, to only provide “level funding” for these critical departments. Some of these policies date back by as much as twenty years. Refusing either a tax increase or the sale of surplus town owned properties have produced a process to research ways to reduce overhead. This process has resulted in the resent consolidations and the current conversation regarding the Police Department. Personally, I do not have a clue, which would be more cost effective, but as a tax payer, I welcome the discussion. I suspect, that any saving in this area would be marginal but it is worth a look.
CB Newbie

Alexandria, VA

#17 Nov 1, 2013
Be careful what you wish for... If they eliminate the Police Department, they eliminate golf carts! Here is the law:

Pay close attention to paragraph C. and reference 9.1-165

§ 46.2-916.2. Designation of public highways for golf cart and utility vehicle operations.
A. No portion of the public highways may be designated for use by golf carts and utility vehicles unless the governing body of the county, city, or town in which that portion of the highway is located has reviewed and approved such highway usage.
B. The governing body of any county, city or town may by ordinance authorize the operation of golf carts and utility vehicles on designated public highways within its boundaries after (i) considering the speed, volume, and character of motor vehicle traffic using such highways, and (ii) determining that golf cart and utility vehicle operation on particular highways is compatible with state and local transportation plans and consistent with the Commonwealth's Statewide Pedestrian Policy provided for in § 33.1-23.03:001.
C. Notwithstanding the other provisions of this section, no town that has not established its own police department, as defined in § 9.1-165, may authorize the operation of golf carts or utility vehicles. The provision of this subsection shall not apply to the Town of Saxis or the Town of Claremont.

No golf carts means no business no weekenders helping pay the fair. No reason to even come to the beach.
CB Newbie

Alexandria, VA

#18 Nov 1, 2013
So you don't have to look it up...

9.1-165

"Police department" means that organization established by ordinance by a local governing body that is responsible for the prevention and detection of crime, the apprehension of criminals, the safeguard of life and property, the preservation of peace and the enforcement of state and local laws, regulations, and ordinances. Such department shall have a chief of police, which in the case of counties may be the sheriff, and such officers, privates, and other personnel as may be provided for in the ordinance, one sworn member of which shall be a full-time employee. All law-enforcement officers serving as members of such police department, whether full-time or part-time, and whether permanently or temporarily employed, shall meet the minimum training standards established pursuant to §§ 9.1-102 and 9.1-114, unless such personnel are exempt from the minimum training standards as provided in §§ 9.1-113 and 9.1-116. Any police department established subsequent to July 1, 1981, shall also have, at a minimum, one officer on duty at all times for the purposes set forth above.

No mention of Sheriff's Department. No Police no golf carts. This would have a devistaing impact on the money generated by people who come down in season and spend thier money at the beach. I for one would sell my house and move to a town that still allows carts.
Maybe

Fredericksburg, VA

#19 Nov 1, 2013
Bad Penny wrote:
If anyone on the Council would understand the impact of our budgetary decisions on our first responders, it is Mr. Edwards and Mr. Curtin. The citizens of Colonial Beach have demanded, through the actions of past council’s decisions, to only provide “level funding” for these critical departments. Some of these policies date back by as much as twenty years. Refusing either a tax increase or the sale of surplus town owned properties have produced a process to research ways to reduce overhead. This process has resulted in the resent consolidations and the current conversation regarding the Police Department. Personally, I do not have a clue, which would be more cost effective, but as a tax payer, I welcome the discussion. I suspect, that any saving in this area would be marginal but it is worth a look.
Your statement is skewed in as much as we have always given the PD the money they need. The Fire Dept. and Rescue are Volunteer groups but the Town still budgets to give them so much money. When you work with a finite amount of money you can not fill everyone's wish list, but do the best you can. The PD is over staffed (IMHO)and could be pared down and still provide coverage for the Town. The night shift does nothing but hang around the PD. A traffic stop requires three officers (NOT). STOP the patrol cars from being driven to Fredericksburg and back every day. Make the officers work for their pay and not hang out as they presently do. Accountability starts at the top, and that is not happening. Don't expect the likes of Tim Curtin or Tommy Edwards to figure this out, not going to happen
truth is

Upper Marlboro, MD

#20 Nov 1, 2013
So this town is willing to sacrifice the safety of the community for the almight dollar. Do the citizens of the town think that abolishing the police department is going to save money? If you do then you truly have not contemplated the facts. The sheriff's office has already recieved the 2 positions that the comp board allows for the population of Colonial Beach. So do u think that the sheriff office or the county is going to compensate for the coverage that is needed for the town. No they are not so who do you think is going to front the bill. The tax payers of the town. It is more costly to merge with the county than anyone thinks. Also everyone here is complaining about the officers in this town, but when you call for the police who shows up not the county your local police officers. Dont underestimate what you already have. This police department was the best it has ever been just a year ago and now that hte new council came in look what happen the town has lost control. Dont blame the officers blame the council they are the ones that put this town in the place it is in now.

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