Leigh, Clarkson and Howells are all on the same page now when it comes to contracting for law enforcement patrols by the Colfax County Sheriff’s Office.
The Colfax County Board of Commissioners OK’d annual revolving contracts for the villages along Highway 91 all taking effect this month. The communities had been operating under staggered contracts before last week's action by the board.
Clarkson, the largest of the three villages with a population of roughly 600, will receive five hours of deputy patrols daily in the coming year at a cost $54,183. Howells and Leigh, with populations around 550 and 400, respectively, each are contracting for four hours of daily patrols.
Each community received a 1.9 percent increase in patrol fees.
Howells was the third village along the highway to get on board with the plans to provide part-time law enforcement patrols and better response times in the northern tier of the county.
Sheriff Paul Kruse said his office is trying to slash response times for deputies responding to calls.
There are only 6 miles between each community along the highway and the deputy patrolling the area won’t have to make the 20-plus-mile trip to the Schuyler area to answer calls, the sheriff said in May.
The plan is to also have a deputy assigned to the southern portion of the county who can be available for calls around the Schuyler, Richland and Rogers areas.
All three of the northern communities requested patrol times at varying points in the day.
Leigh’s contract calls for four hours of evening patrolling a day. Clarkson also receives evening patrols along with law enforcement presence before and after school.
Howells’ contract includes daytime patrols and county deputies will also enforce village ordinances.
The sheriff’s office added a deputy about a year ago when the communities began seeking contracts for law enforcement services.