Lowell commission nixes agreement with Cedar Lake

2013-10-10T20:49:00Z 2013-10-11T10:16:07Z Lowell commission nixes agreement with Cedar LakeMelanie Csepiga Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
October 10, 2013 8:49 pm  • 

LOWELL | The Police Commission voted Thursday against an interlocal agreement with Cedar Lake that, the commission said, would inject monetary compensation into what would otherwise be mutual aid.

The 2013 Joint Interlocal Cooperation Agreement on the mutual use of police personnel and equipment was forwarded to the commissioners by the Lowell Town Council last month.

The council asked for the Police Commission's review of the document after some councilmen said they had been unaware the document had been drafted.

Lowell Police Chief Erik Matson told the commissioners Thursday the Lake County Sheriff's Department is called when assistance is needed. If not available, then Cedar Lake might be called, he said. "In my experience, I can count on one hand the number of times we've called Cedar Lake," he said.

Commission Attorney Nicole Bennett said, "The looseness of this document worries me. The cost worries me."

Essentially, Bennett said, it says, "We'll charge you and figure it out later."

The document states monthly reports on the use of equipment and personnel on behalf of the other town would be made and an end-of-the-year report tallying such would determine which town used more. That town "shall pay to the other town the amount of actual costs incurred," it states in part.

Commission President Keith Kilmer said the document was rejected as written. Commissioner John Piper said the vote was "without malice towards Cedar Lake."

According to Lowell Council President Edgar Corns, R-5th, the document grew from discussions he and Councilman Don Parker, D-3rd, had with two Cedar Lake councilmen when the Lowell Police Department was having major issues.

Lowell Town Council Vice President Craig Earley, D-1st, expressed reservations last month and said Thursday he was pleased with the commission's decision.

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