If some of the eight Top of Utah cities that are facing higher law enforcement bills from the Weber County Sheriff's Office don't want to be affiliated with a new, more-expensive county law enforcement tab, one option could be for several cities to unite, pool their resources, and create a multi-cities police force.
A March 31 deadline existed for eight cities to decide if they want to pay more in order to keep receiving Weber County law enforcement services from the sheriff's office. That deadline was extended. The new deadline to accept or craft an alternative is Aug. 31.
According to Farr West Mayor Jimmie Papageorge, cities, including Farr West, Marriott-Slaterville, Plain City, and Hooper have had informal discussions on pooling funds and creating a multi-jurisdiction police force. However, creating a police force -- even among several cities -- would be quite expensive. The total expenses for each city could easily exceed the fees that the county wants.
However, all options need to be discussed because the new bill from the county will be steep for some small municipalities. Hooper, for example, is being asked to pay $207,281 more. Korry Green, the city's mayor, wonders if the sheriff's request could lead to his city's implementation of a local property tax.
These funding increases from the sheriff's office are needed. Other cities' taxpayers shouldn't have to subsidize their neighbors. In fact, these increases should have been discussed years ago. If that had occurred, cities such as Hooper wouldn't find themselves in as steep a financial dilemma as they are in. If the smaller cities can't find savings through a unified force, they'll need to get serious about negotiating and finding ways to raise the extra cash needed.
Ignoring the extra fee would not completely eliminate law enforcement services. The county is required to respond to calls that pose a threat to life and property. But other "less important" calls could be ignored.
That would be a development that should not be tolerated. Top of Utah communities need full service from law enforcement. A consistent failure to respond to "smaller" law enforcement obligations is liable to result in a deterioration of overall safety in the communities.