At the Marshall County Commissioner’s meeting on Monday, Commission Chairman Kevin Overmyer suggested considering enacting a local public safety option income tax to help deal with the increased equipment costs and difficulties in hiring and retaining employees.
John Grolich, president of the Marshall County Firefighters Association, told commissioners that county communications would benefit if a few more towers could be erected. He said the price was around $1 million per tower site.
Ginny Munroe said that small communities, including all of Marshall County, have problems attracting new hires and retaining current employees because large communities offer substantial signing bonuses and our communities can compete with that.
Overmyer said funds raised from a public safety LOIT would provide additional funds to the county and each jurisdiction to help pay for public safety equipment. This is not something new, Marshall County discussed this several years ago and even reached out to communities for assistance, but the county council was not included to move forward. before that time. Overmyer said the extra funds could help communities buy increasingly expensive ambulances, fire trucks and police cars. Funds from the Public Safety ACT could provide wage increases for police, firefighters, paramedics and EMS.
Commissioner Overmyer said: “Public safety is getting more and more expensive. I don’t know if the time is right to look at this, but I think it’s something this county, the commissioners and the council should consider because it’s starting to be a matter of life and death for people . If you’re going to the wrong address and you can’t provide equipment or personnel to provide those emergency services, I think that’s something we need to start looking at at some point.
No official action was taken on the suggestion. Passing a public safety LOI would be the responsibility of Marshall County Council.
Culver City Manager Ginny Munroe said at the meeting that she supports the suggestion of a public safety LOIT, as does Matt Pitney, who is not only the 911 director but also the township administrator. of Tippecanoe.
Overmyer asked Sheriff Matt Hassel if he supported a public safety LOI, Hassel said, “I think we need to look into it.”
Indiana Code 6-3.6-2-14 defines “public safety” as follows:
Second. 14. “Public Safety” means the following:
(1) A police and law enforcement system to preserve public peace and order.
(2) A fire fighting and fire prevention system.
(3) Emergency Ambulance Services (as defined in IC 16-18-2-107).
(4) Emergency Medical Services (as defined in IC 16-18-2-110).
(5) Emergency Action (as defined in IC 13-11-2-65).
(6) A court probation service.
(7) Confinement, supervision, services under a community correctional program (as defined in IC 35-38-2.6-2) or other correctional services for a person who has been:
(A) diverted prior to a final hearing or trial pursuant to an agreement between the county attorney and the person or the person’s custodian, guardian or relative and which provides for confinement, supervision, corrections community or other correctional services in lieu of final action described in clause
(B) convicted of a felony; Where
(C) judged as a child offender or child in need of services.
(8) A juvenile detention center under IC 31-31-8.
(9) A juvenile detention center under IC 31-31-9.
(10) A county jail.
(11) A Communication System (as defined in IC 36-8-15-3), Enhanced Emergency Telephone System (as defined in IC 36-8-16-2, prior to its repeal on July 1, 2012 ), a PSAP (as defined in IC 36-8-16.7-20) that is part of the statewide 911 system (as defined in IC 36-8-16.7-22) and located in the county, or the statewide 911 system (as defined in IC 36-8-16.7-22). Indiana Code 2019
(12) Medical and healthcare costs for incarcerated prisoners and other incarcerated persons.
(13) Pension payments for any of the following:
(A) A member of a fire department (as defined in IC 36-8-1-8) or any other employee of the fire department.
(B) A member of a police service (as defined in IC 36-8-1-9), a chief of police hired under a waiver under IC 36-8-4-6.5, or any other employee hired by the police department.
(C) A county sheriff or other member of the county sheriff’s office.
(D) Other personnel employed to provide a service described in this section.
(14) Law enforcement training.