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SCHUYLER – A Colfax County sheriff’s deputy spent plenty of his windshield time responding to calls for law enforcement services along the Highway 91 corridor communities of Clarkson, Leigh and Howells during the month of March.

A patrolling deputy responded to about 110 service calls in March among the three communities located six miles apart along the highway, part of a nearly yearlong effort to shave response times from the Schuyler-based sheriff’s office call list.

The county board of commissioners voted in May to ink an annual contract with the village Howells, with the community of just more than 550 people joining Leigh and Clarkson among the communities sharing daily patrolling by a deputy assigned to the northern portion of the county.

Sheriff Paul Kruse has said a deputy assigned to the northern area of the county saves time by not having to make the 20-plus mile trip to the Schuyler area to answer calls.

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 for a total of 28 hours a week. Clarkson also receives evening patrols along with patrols during periods before and after school.

Howells’ contract includes daytime patrols and county deputies will also enforce village ordinances.

The sheriff’s office added a deputy nearly two years ago when the communities began seeking contracts for law enforcement services.

Adding the deputy boosted the office’s staffing to six deputies, one investigator, one sergeant and one corporal.

In March, a deputy answered about 35 calls in Clarkson, 27 in Howells and 28 in Leigh. The sheriff’s office answered 10 calls to Richland and five calls to Rogers during the month. Richland and Rogers don’t contract with the county for daily patrolling.



Jim Osborn is a news reporter at The Columbus Telegram.

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