SCHERERVILLE | People arrested in Schererville on misdemeanor charges filed in Town Court will be required to pay a $35 processing service charge and release fee in addition to bond posted.
The Town Council adopted an ordinance Wednesday to establish the fee. The measure received a 3-2 vote. Councilmen Hal Slager and Jerry Tippy were opposed to the decision.
Councilman Rob Guetzloff said the town isn't generating funding like it has in the past.
"I just think it's a good way to bring in extra revenue," he said of the fee.
Police Chief David Dowling said funds collected would be used to enhance police equipment "to make the community safer."
Tippy said he continues to have concerns about the fee because the charge wouldn't be refunded if a person is found not guilty.
Dowling said the fee is necessary to cover the expense of providing release services when bond is posted.
He said on most occasions bond won't be posted at the time of arrest, so an officer must be taken off the street to complete the process.
Guetzloff compared the fee to a towing charge. He said if a vehicle must be towed during an arrest, a towing company won't reimburse the towing charge if the person is found not guilty.
Dowling agreed with Guetzloff's comparison.
The council also approved another ordinance establishing a nonreverting fund in which funds generated by the charge would be deposited. Slager and Tippy also voted against that ordinance.
Tippy said funds that pay for police service come from the town's general fund, so money collected from a fee to cover police services should be deposited into the general fund.