By Mari Radtke
The City of Sutherland relied on the O’Brien County Sheriff’s office for law enforcement since February when its lone police officer accepted other employment. The O’Brien Count Sheriff’s office limits their responses to emergency calls only and will not enforce local ordinances. Currently, reports say that 9-1-1 operators refer the caller to the mayor.
A law enforcement 28E with the City of Paullina was ended when Jami Webster, the former police officer resigned. Her departure left Sutherland completely unprotected and Paullina with a single officer to provide 24/7 coverage.
Since that time former Paullina police officer Trenton Morton was able to overcome the run time that prevented him from being able to attend the academy. Paullina rehired him in April. A new 28E with Sutherland, however, is not in the works at this time. A third police officer to assist with the two-community service is under consideration.
In the meantime, Sutherland works to find its own law enforcement officer. At the Tuesday July 6 meeting the council approved a $2500 bonus for a police officer. Mayor Gifford requested, but did not receive consideration of making the bonus available for an accredited officer from another jurisdiction to fill the position on a part time basis. The bonus was approved. The bonus to a part time officer was not supported.
At press time just one application has been received.
By Mari Radtke