FOX47 NEWS - Cottage Grove Considers Contract Policing

Jeff Angileri
May 7, 2009, 10:18 PM

In a money-saving move, Cottage Grove is considering dropping its police force, and contracting with the Dane County Sheriff's Department.

The plan could save Cottage Grove $300,000 a year, according to Sheriff Dave Mahoney.

Currently, the town and village spend $1.25 million a year on police.

Mahoney says the county can do it for just over $900,000. That number, however, only includes money for 9 full time officers, and does not cover the cost of vehicles or buildings.

Town leaders say they still have number-crunching to do before they make a decision.

We don't want less, we don't want more, said Town of Cottage Grove chair Kris Hampton. We want to have the very same coverage because then you can compare dollars for dollars.

Cottage Grove invited Mahoney to make the presentation, and said his appearance was not a reflection on the Cottage Grove Police Department. He praised the agency for its work and high quality of service.

The men and women of the sheriff's office will be here to assist and work closely with the men and women of this agency, no matter what your decision, Mahoney said.

If the town and village decide to go with contract policing, the 13 current Cottage Grove officers would lose their jobs.

Because of collective bargaining agreements, the new positions would have to be filled thru the sheriff's department. However, those displaced officers would get preference if they decided to apply with Dane County, Mahoney said.

Seven other municipalities in Dane County use contract policing.

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