Union Co Sheriff calls Indian Trail proposal 'ludicrous'

Union Co Sheriff calls Indian Trail proposal 'ludicrous'

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by AMY COWMAN / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @amywcnc

WCNC.com

Posted on February 14, 2013 at 6:30 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 11 at 8:43 PM

INDIAN TRAIL, N.C. -- The Union County Sheriff says a new contract proposal from Indian Trail town manager is a slap in the face.

Town officials say they simply want more control for their growing city, but some believe it's a political move to get their own police force.

"We are getting superior service for a ridiculously low price. We would be stupid to mess that up," says Indian Trail Councilman David Waddell. 

Waddell is a strong supporter of the service his town gets from the Union County Sheriff's Office. So he's very concerned over a recent contract proposal Councilman Robert Allen and Councilwoman Darlene Luther along with Town Manager Joe Fivas presented to Sheriff Eddie Cathey.
 
"I do take it as a slap in the face," said Sheriff Cathey.
 
Sheriff Cathey says the contract doesn't even mention the sheriff but rather the county and it calls for pages of new demands.
 
"To me it's asking if I'll sign a contract and give up the constitutional authority of the sheriff's office, and certainly that's not going to happen," said Cathey.
 
For example, calling the town manager within an hour of deputies responding to any crime scene and getting permission before sharing any information with the media. Also retaining ownership of equipment and control over enforcing town ordinances.
 
Councilman Robert Allen told NBC Charlotte he doesn't see the contract as ludicrous, that since Indian Trail has grown so much they simply want more control over how it's run. But Councilman Waddell says there's a political motive.
 
“I believe what this is an effort to undermine the contract process and to make it look like, at least to the public, that we have no choice but to start a police department," said Waddell.
 
Sheriff Cathey says considering Indian Trail only pays $1.5 million for their service compared to neighboring Monroe who has a $9 million budget, he knows this contract isn’t coming from concerned citizens.
 
"It would be laughable if it weren't sad they are forsaking the citizens that put them in office," said Cathey.
 
Councilman Allen says they will have to decide to accept the previous contract terms or start their own police department.

Town Manager Joe Fivas never returned any of our calls.

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