Dagsboro and Frankford Hold Public Meetings on Potential Police - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Dagsboro and Frankford Hold Public Meetings on Potential Police Unification

Posted: 09/13/2017 15:48:00 -04:00 Updated:

SUSSEX COUNTY, Del. - Two Sussex County towns are one step closer to potentially unifying their police departments.

Dagsboro and Frankford are considering operating as one police force. The towns are now in the process of gaining public feedback before any more action takes place. Frankford hosting a public workshop on Tuesday evening and Dagsboro is hosting one Wednesday night. Frankford Town Treasurer says it's important to get residents' opinions.

"It's a long term commitment. It's a big financial commitment," he says. "Everybody really needs to know whats going on."

If the towns decide to unify departments, Frankford will be required to hire a second officer, whereas now they have only budgeted for one. Presley says that will cost them $65,000, or roughly 15 percent of their gross revenue. He says it's a big burden on a town still financially reeling. 

"It's a lot of money and [...] we are going with the loss of revenue from Mountaire disconnecting from the water system," he says. "That's continuing to haunt us and will probably haunt us for decades to come."

Presley says despite the cost, policing is one of the primary responsibilities of a municipality, so the need must be acknowledged too. Dagsboro Police Chief Floyd Toomey says the unification would be a big win for both towns. 

"We would definitely increase our policing at least two folds for Dagsboro and three folds for Frankford," he says. "The lapse of coverage would be minimal at worst."

Toomey says the unification would provide 20-22 hour coverage of the towns, with officers overlapping shifts. He says that man power allows them to fight more crime, and it's needed.

"We have a very serious epidemic of heroin...and we are at the forefront of combating that," he says. "[Additionally] the other crimes that are associated with drug use--thefts, burglaries, assaults, that type of thing--we would be more available. We would have more resources and we could combat them a lot more effectively."

Wednesday's meeting is at the Dagsboro Volunteer Fire Department located at 28331 Clayton St. It begins at 7 p.m. After the meetings, the towns will decide if they will be proceeding with the potential unification. Presley says Frankford's Town Council could vote as soon as their next meeting. 

 

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