Official: Sheriff OK with Winfield town marshal proposal

2014-02-11T22:00:00Z 2014-02-11T23:28:06Z Official: Sheriff OK with Winfield town marshal proposalSusan Erler susan.erler@nwi.com, (219) 662-5336 nwitimes.com
February 11, 2014 10:00 pm  • 

WINFIELD | Talks continued this week about the potential for a town marshal to come on board in Winfield.

In an update to the Town Council on Tuesday, Councilman Donald Samburg said he met with Lake County Sheriff John Buncich and got a positive reaction to the idea.

"(Buncich) said, 'I'm here to help,'" Samburg said. "I was very, very pleased with his response."

Lake County sheriff's police currently are contracted by the town to provide police protection. They would continue to do so even if a marshal position were created, town officials said in talks last month.

The town marshal and any deputy marshals would provide another layer of protection, such as patrolling town parks and school safety zones, while sheriff's police would continue to handle major crimes, officials say.

The town could also then collect fees for violations.

The council in January granted preliminary approval to an ordinance creating the marshal position and laying out duties of the job.

A final vote could come later this month, council members said Tuesday. Officials would then begin establishing hiring criteria for the job.

Previous attempts to establish a marshal system in Winfield hadn't advanced, partly because of the need for funding.

An infusion starting this year of local option income tax funding to municipalities in Lake County prompted Winfield officials to try again.

The town's share of local option income tax, expected to amount to about $40,000 annually, would help cover salaries and expenses. The money can be used only for public safety.

Under terms of the proposed ordinance, a town marshal would have the authority to appoint deputy marshals.

Hiring and salary details would be worked out pending final adoption of the ordinance.

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