BICKNELL, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — The Knox County Sheriff’s Office will dedicate four deputies to the City of Bicknell at the city’s expense.
In an agreement finalized Tuesday night, Bicknell will provide the funds necessary for training and employment of four new deputies to the Knox County Sheriff’s Department. In return, the sheriff’s department will help ensure law enforcement coverage of the area 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Knox County Sheriff Doug Vantlin explained.
The agreement has been months in the making as the sheriff’s department began picking up patrols following legal troubles that left the Bicknell police force short-staffed.
As the new school year was approaching, Vantlin warned that the extra patrols were becoming logistically difficult for his department. In late July, he provided the City of Bicknell with a draft of the proposed interlocal agreement.
Before it could be finalized, the agreement had to be voted on by the Bicknell City Council, the Knox County Council and finally the Knox County Commissioners who voted in favor of the arrangement Tuesday night.
The Bicknell Police Department will continue to employee one full-time officer who will work a dayshift. Part of the officer’s duties will include ordinance enforcement.
When the officer is off duty, a Knox County Sheriff’s Deputy will be assigned to the area.
While four new deputies will be hired, Vantlin assured that both experienced members of the force and rookies will rotate patrolling duties in Bicknell.
Vantlin said he already has a pool of candidates ready to call on for the open positions, and expects to have the new arrangement in full force by the first of October.
“I want to ensure the City of Bicknell we will give it 100% to keep them safe,” Vantlin said.