Cherokee County Sheriff Dave Scott addressed the Cherokee County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday to discuss general business. Among the items discussed were several complaints by the City of Cherokee Police Department stating that the Sheriff's Department hadn't responded to several calls.
Sheriff Scott responded by addressing each case and telling the Board the details of why those calls went unanswered. One example that Scott stated was a call that came into the Law Enforcement Center (before the recent separation of the two law enforcement entities) of a vehicle that was stolen, and while a deputy was enroute, the caller called back within two minutes to say that he had forgotten that he didn't drive his vehicle to where he was.
These were the types of complaints that the Sheriff addressed. Scott addressed all the complaints as a case of "sour grapes." He then proceeded to state one of his own complaints against the CPD.
According to Scott, a call was placed to the CPD from the Cherokee Washington High School on Nov. 29 that resulted in charges filed against 18-year old Cody M. Carlson of Cherokee with intimidation with a dangerous weapon (class C felony) and threat of terrorism (class D felony) after threatening individuals at the school. Carlson was jailed and charged on Dec. 6.
Scott stated that his complaint was that the school did not call 911 and subsequently called a member of the CPD on their cell phone. However, a Call For Service Record provided by the Sheriff's office to the Chronicle Times states that Julie Case of the CPD received a call at the Police Department at 12:54 p.m. on Nov. 29 and two officers were on the scene at 12:55 p.m. where they confronted and arrested Carlson. It was Scott's complaint that due to the seriousness of the call that it should have been placed to the Communication Center, which is housed at the Sheriff's office.
"I've talked to a lot of parents that are upset," said Scott.
"When those types of calls come in, I want everyone there is to respond. It doesn't matter if another county responds. We can always send people home. When you respond to a situation on your own, with out back-up, it's a dangerous situation," he added.
Scott also said that he talked to Police Chief Steve Schuck about the case and it was alleged by Scott that Schuck stated that his Department would handle any calls from high school.
"We got nine people (number of CPD officers) thinking that they could go it alone. That's just pure ego talking," said Scott.
Scott was also upset that he had just learned about the incident at the school just recently. "I think that the City Council should be advised and this incident should be seriously looked at. I did talk to Cherokee Councilman Jim Peck and got a royal ass chewing from the Chief for that," commented Scott to the Board.
The only member of the Board who offered a reaction to Scott's complaint was Supervisor Terry Graybill who expressed concerned about the handling of the case. "I do have concerns about how this was handled, especially when my wife was working behind the first door when you enter that school," expressed Graybill.
It was the Board's belief that the City of Cherokee would probably take up this issue after reading about it in this article.
However, it is up to the City of Cherokee to set it's own agenda, as it seems fit.
In other business, the Board heard from Lisa Langlitz, Cherokee County Community Services Director. Langlitz addressed the Board to follow up on a couple of issues that she recently brought to the Board's attention.
One of those items was a proposed contract for services from the Spencer Hospital if it's mental health services are required. Currently, the Spencer Hospital has a daily rate of $546 for treating people with mental health problems. If the County of Cherokee enters into a contract with them that rate would be at a reduced rate.
The Board agreed to a one-year contract. Langlitz did inform the Board that she does not use their services that often and only when no room is at any of the State of Iowa's Mental Health Institutes, or if a client of Langlitz is sent to Spencer by another county.
Langlitz also brought up the contract with Synergy, which was also a one-year contract and would benefit the County by having a reduced rate. The Board however tabled that contract to further investigate when the contract would start.
The Board also asked Langlitz how her General Relief Budget is looking after having to spend much of it on several recent funerals. Langlitz stated that the GRB is at 11% until June 30 of 2011.
Cherokee County Engineer Dave Shanahan presented a wage authorization form of a former Secondary Road Employee. Bill Gordon recently retired and has requested to be put back to work on a temporary part-time position. The Board granted the request and Gordon will remain at a wage of $18.44 per hour.
The Board also approved Family Medical Leave Act paperwork for a county employee who was off duty due to surgery and needed additional time due to that surgery.
Also, the Board approved a request from ICAP for proof of driver eligibility and insurance for all county employees who drive and claim mileage. If an employee of the county does not show proof of eligibility or personal auto insurance, than no mileage will be paid.