A Belle law enforcement transition meeting will be held at 6:00 p.m. Jan. 23 at the Belle-Bland Community Center according to Sheriff Chris Heitman’s Maries County Sheriff’s Office …
A Belle law enforcement transition meeting will be held at 6:00 p.m. Jan. 23 at the Belle-Bland Community Center according to Sheriff Chris Heitman’s Maries County Sheriff’s Office Belle Division Facebook page.
“It’s just to be informative to the public and let them come forward with any questions and concerns,” said Heitman Tuesday afternoon, “and to introduce deputies that will be working in the area.”
Heitman said he plans to try to have all of his deputies in Belle on Thursday so people can put “a face with the name.” Among those deputies will be Belle officers Brian Brennan and Jerry Coborn.
“They will get swore in on Thursday at the Maries County Courthouse,” Heitman said. “Jerry will get a raise, Bubba will take a small pay cut.”
Heitman said Brennan had a lot of overtime previous that increased his overall pay, but he isn’t sure what the officer’s hourly rate was.
“We are expecting one to two more hires,” Hetiman said. “Our goal next year is to have four full-time deputies for Belle. Right now, I think we will probably be getting by with three full-time officers and one part-time officer to make it through the remainder of the year.”
He isn’t sure when the other officers will be hired, and mentioned the Police Academy graduation is in May, but he doesn’t want to wait that long.
He also hopes Belle Marshal Joe Turnbough will be at the meeting to share what his plans are going forward.
“We are not relying on the marshal for his assistance, but it is going to be encouraged,” Heitman said. “I hope he is still out working full-time and, since he is able to assist in any investigation he wants to in town. I hope he takes an active law enforcement role which is more coverage for the city and in turn will help reduce crime in the city.”
Aside from meeting the officers, Heitman hopes to go over what type of police coverage the citizens can expect from his department and how law enforcement will handle certain situations. Citizens are encouraged to ask questions about the contract and services as well.