Woodbury County Sheriff May Be For Lease to Smaller Towns

(WOODBURY COUNTY, IA) The Woodbury County Sheriffs Office may soon be selling its services to smaller towns like Lawton, Bronson, Hornick and Smithland.

Those communities don't have a police force and currently rely on deputies in emergencies but who's enforcing the local ordinances that are broken?

Sheriff Drew says he came up with the idea even before he was in charge and it was first on his to-do list once he took office. It looks like the Woodbury County Board of Supervisors likes the plan Drew has put on the table.

The responsibility of a mayor in a town like Lawton is more than you'd imagine. Take Molly, a barking dog I found at one of the houses, for example. If she was carrying on at 3 AM and disturbing neighbors, who would take care of it?

"Usually the mayor does it. I don't think it's his duty to do that," says Don Grigg, a Councilman for Lawton.

"The mayor Runs to help the small town not to be the chief law enforcement officer," says Dave Drew, Woodbury County Sheriff.

But right now that's the way some cities roll. Don Grigg, a Councilman for the city of Lawton says Barking Dogs is just one of the many responsibilities the mayor takes on.

"Cars on the street that are parked longer than they should be. When you have heavy snows, your supposed to get the cars off the street and sometimes, you know, that doesn't always happen," says Grigg.

But all that could change if Woodbury County Sheriff Dave Drew's plan is passed.

"If the town says we have issues with somebody leaving abandoned property or their cars are parked and they haven't been moved then they'll contact us and we'll proceed with whatever direction they want us to go in," says Sheriff Drew.

The Woodbury County Sheriffs office would charge each small town, like Lawton, $35 an hour for its services. But then it's up to the city to decide whether it wants those services at all and if so how many hours it needs.

"If they want us to be there 20 hours a month or a week that's something that's up to them. That's their direction that they wish to go," says Sheriff Drew.

"Right at this point, we have no idea how many hours we would want, it's just something that we'd have to try I guess," says Grigg.

It's possible cities will get a chance to try this idea out as soon as next week that's because the plan will go before the County Board of Supervisors next Tuesday and Drew anticipates it will easily pass.