VINCENNES, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — The Knox County Sheriff said the extra Bicknell Patrols have been logistically difficult for the department, and as they prepare for the upcoming school year, they will need to reevaluate their resources.
The department has picked up patrols in Bicknell due to legal troubles that have left the police chief suspended and the police force down to two officers from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sheriff Douglas Vantlin said the department stands “ready to meet, negotiate and possibly provide public safety,” but he wants a more formal arrangement.
He provided the City of Bicknell with a draft of a proposed interlocal agreement, and asked the city council to discuss how they want to proceed.
The following is the full statement issued by Sheriff Vantlin Friday:
Approximately 3 months ago issues arose causing Bicknell Mayor Thomas Estabrook to request assistance from the Knox County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff Doug Vantlin and his dedicated deputies have volunteered in the interim to help provide public safety to the citizens of Bicknell. These temporary services have been difficult logistically but thru the cooperation of these fine deputies, we have been able to do so, and, at no cost to the citizens of Bicknell.
The Sheriff’s Office must now plan and prepare for the school year as Deputies return to their normal schedules. This means the Sheriff’s Office needs to reevaluate our resources if we are needed to continue to assist.
Additionally, there is some uncertainty as to how the Bicknell citizens and their city government view how public safety can best be provided within their city limits.
Our only desire is to help our friends and neighbors as they deal with these legal and administrative issues. Accordingly, while we stand ready to meet, negotiate, and possibly provide public safety services through an interlocal agreement.
For us to move on all public safety fronts, we ask that the Bicknell City Council discuss how they and the citizens wish to move forward. There is a draft of an interlocal agreement which can be refined if the city agrees to that option.
Knox County stands ready to help as necessary.Sheriff Douglas E. Vantlin