By Keith Gushard
Meadville Tribune illustration
Could Crawford County Sheriff deputies end up doing additional security work in uniform under contract to other agencies?
It’s something Sheriff Nick Hoke wants county commissioners to consider.
“I toss it out as an idea and I’m sure we’ll have a lot more discussion before any decision is made,” Hoke said at Tuesday’s weekly commissioner work session.
Commissioners took no action Tuesday, but asked for additional information.
In the past few years, Hoke said he’s received requests from various groups about sheriff’s deputies providing security at events such as borough or township meetings where there may be a contentious issue being discussed. Hoke said the most recent request was received during the Christmas holiday season from a hockey group asking about deputies for security.
Hoke stressed any work he would seek to have both approval from commissioners and a contract in place for the specific event.
“It gives the deputies an opportunity to earn extra money,” Hoke said. “We can’t compete with the salaries of police departments.”
Hoke noted that years ago, the Crawford County Sheriff’s office had a contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to patrol the Woodcock Dam area operated by the Corps of Engineers.
He pointed out Forest County has three contracts providing security for the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and borough of Tionesta.
The contracts are structured to take in account officer salaries, wear and tear on vehicles, liability insurance and workers compensation insurance, according to Hoke.
He noted Forest County makes enough of a profit on those contracts to pay for vehicles for the Forest County Sheriff’s Department.
Keith Gushard can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.