By Jessie R. Box
Greene Publishing, Inc.
A rumor has been spreading that the Madison Police Department was merging with the Madison County Sheriff’s Office and had become effective at the community meeting held Thursday, April 24. As of now, that is not the case.
“The rumor, when I heard it, was news to me,” said City Manager Tim Bennett. “The purpose of the community meetings is for them to be a series of meetings conducted by individual city commissioners. Commissioner Thompson conducted the first one. Commissioner Catron is planning one for May, and Commissioner Hawkins is planning one for June. The meetings are an opportunity for citizens to ask questions about and to comment on, city policies and initiatives.”
Police Chief Gary Calhoun stated, “With the current budget issues facing the City of Madison, it is likely that there will be some adjustments to the police department’s budget. I do not believe, however, that we are heading toward consolidating with the Sheriff’s Office. Our Madison Police Officers currently provide a significant level of service to our citizens which creates a safer environment for everyone.”
Bennett did add that he intends to cut the Police Department by one or two officers through attrition beginning January 1, 2015.