Fight over Indian Trail police protection continues

Fight over Indian Trail police protection continues

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by AMY COWMAN / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @amywcnc

WCNC.com

Posted on March 6, 2013 at 5:44 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 11 at 8:24 PM

INDIAN TRAIL, N.C. -- A fight over police protection in Indian Trail could be coming to an end. It's a story NBC Charlotte has been following for weeks, a fight over how to best protect people who live in Indian Trail. It's a fight that's kept the accusations flying.

"I have no confidence in the Sheriff's department, their conduct has made them people I don't want to deal with," said Councilman Robert Allen.
 
Indian Trail Councilman Robert Allen says his disagreement with the Union County Sheriff's Department is far from over. In February, at a heated special meeting, Councilman Allen and Darlene Luther voted not to renew the contract. Allen says they would have had a majority with the mayor's vote but a lieutenant with the sheriff's office got to him.
 
"You've got a public official that was threatened and coerced into changing his vote," Allen claimed.
 
Sheriff Eddie Cathey was at the meeting which evoked strong citizen support for the sheriff's office, and says the accusation by Allen is just another false ploy against them.
 
“I think the citizens are fed up with it. From what I gather directly from them, they're sort of tired of it; they'd like this put behind them and move on," said Sheriff Cathey.
 
Since then Sheriff Cathey says he had agreed to some contract concessions such as a four-- instead of five year contract, stop pay for vacant position if the service suffers, different car branding and the duty to enforce town ordinances.
 
Councilman Allen says any changes are an improvement.
 
"Anything that comes back now is a win, if it's anything better than the existing contract, I'm claiming victory for us," said Allen.
 
However in an email Allen made it clear, he's feels that the contact renewal is defeat.
 
"The UCSO will get their contract because our council has the spine of a jellyfish and do not understand the art of negotiation," wrote Allen.
 
Sheriff Cathey says he's never received a complaint from Indian Trail, and he won’t be told how to run his department by anyone.
 
"Just business as usual, we'll go out and do our job just like we've always done. We'll continue working for the citizens," said Sheriff Cathey.
 
On Thursday, there’s a special meeting where Sheriff Cathey says he’s heard they expect to approve the contract.

Allen says he plans to file an official complaint against the Indian Trail lieutenant with the sheriff's office.

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