Teen Girls Petition Elk Point City Council to Keep Police Dept. - Siouxland News - KMEG 14 and FOX 44

Teen Girls Petition Elk Point City Council to Keep Police Dept.

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ELK POINT, SD -

You might call it grass roots politics at its best.

Two young teens have turned in a petition asking the city of Elk Point to keep its police department.

After Taylor Trudeau found out that her dad's job was on the line and that the safety of her community could soon change, she and her best friend Breanna decided to rally their neighborhood to keep the Elk Point police department open.

Now, the teens have over 150 signatures and presented the petition to the City Council at a public hearing Monday evening.

"A lot of people say that if we didn't have a police department, they wouldn't feel safe here," said 14-year-old Taylor Trudeau in her speech.
 
Like Trudeau, people of Elk Point say they're not willing to let go of their police force, after one City Councilman has recommended cutting the department.

But the two proactive teens are leading the charge against the proposal.
 
"I knew it was important for my dad to not lose his job, and one of my favorite cops on the squad is Jacob Limoges and he's having a baby-- and I'm just kind of happy that I can prevent it from happening," said Trudeau.
 
"They help us with a lot of stuff like my family has had problems and they actually care and if the Sheriff's were just doing it then the Sheriff's wouldn't just go to a house and check on a kid because the mother asked," added 13-year-old Breanna Hutcheson.
 
Councilman Curry first proposed the idea when he asked the Sheriff's Office for an estimate to have deputies patrol the town instead of its own police task force.
 
Since then community has been behind the police department to keep it running.

Police Chief Ryan Fleek says removing the police force and replacing it with deputies will ultimately hurt the community.

"We're able to cover 24 hours a days/ 7 days a week," said the chief. "I think you take that away and I think it would slowly erode and we would lose what'd we've gain in the last 13 years."
 
That loss would include the department's 4-man staff who work 168 hours to keep Elk Point safe.

The Union County Sheriff estimates it will cost nearly $90,000 dollars to hire several deputies to provide 56 hrs. of weekly patrolling.

Those estimates are in comparison to the current police force who work twice those hours at a budget of just over $300,000 dollars.

The council is set to vote on the measure at a later time.

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