Resident has questions about police protection

Wanda English Burnett

Members of the Ripley County Council dealt with a short agenda at their regular meeting held Monday, September 20.

The portion of the meeting that took the most amount of time was something the members didn’t take action on, but instead listened to a resident who was upset.

“I want to feel protected,” the resident told council members as she told her story. The resident (who will not be named due to an ongoing investigation) said her home was broken into on September 9 and several items stolen.

She said the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office responded to her home, but hadn’t followed up on the situation ten days later.

Council members would hear that the sheriff told the woman they don’t have enough staff.

A security system has now been installed at the residence, but the homeowners still don't feel secure. “If I have a distressing situation, I hope the police can respond,” she noted.

Sheriff Tom Grills was at the meeting and responded to the complaint. He said he personally took ten case reports last Friday alone. The sheriff said his deputies keep busy, but it seems the work load has increased. He said he has requested three additional officers and is waiting for the council’s decision.

Council member Ed Armbrecht said he understands both sides but would like to have some questions answered before responding. He noted that adding one officer is an expense of $75,000 to the county. In a year when county coffers face a $380,000 revenue shortfall, adding the additional personnel is something the council will have to weigh out.

The sheriff said there is more criminal activity now. But, he did reassure the public that his office will “always be there” for them.

The lady speaking to the council said she is afraid people will begin to protect themselves.

In other business, council members voted unanimously to approve the following:

• $750 was appropriated for the Ripley County Park and Recreation for sand for the racetrack. This is grant money from the Indiana Horse Association.

• Commissioners will transfer $10,000 from the Change of Venue fund to the Unemployment fund. This will pay the remainder of unemployment for the rest of the year.

• The coroner was approved to transfer $1386 from the Training fund for mortuary garments; $300 for uniforms and $400 for mortuary garments from the Tire and Lubes fund.

• A public hearing was opened and closed concerning budgets. There was no one from the public with comments about the budgets.

All council members were in attendance. The next regular meeting is set for October 18 at 7:00 p.m. at the courthouse annex building in Versailles.