West Point getting some help

Published 11:16 am Thursday, May 17, 2018

WEST POINT — In the wake of hiring new chief of police Donald V. Britt in April, the West Point Police Department is in the process of hiring multiple new officers as well.

To fill scheduling gaps until the process is complete, the WPPD will be receiving assistance from Troup County Sheriff’s Office. The intergovernmental agreement was unanimously approved by West Point at their city council meeting Monday.

The agreement between the City of West Point, Troup County Sheriff’s Office and the Troup County Board of Commissioners will provide West Point with staffing patrol officers on two shifts a day, according to the minutes from Monday’s meeting.

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Off-duty Troup County officers will have the opportunity to work alongside West Point officers, while the City of West Point will handle all equipment, administrative and mileage costs that may be incurred during the process, Assistant County Manager Eric Mosley told the LaGrange Daily News.

“It is like an officer who might decide to work at the movie theater or with the school system,” Mosley said. “It is that type of arrangement.”

Instead of receiving overtime pay from TCSO, the Troup County officers who help in West Point will be paid as if they were working another job, according to Mosley. This decision was made to prevent changes to Troup County’s general fund and budget

The agreement was put in place to ensure West Point has consistent manpower over the next few months. TCSO regularly provides assistance to cities within the county.

“We are just trying to help West Point,” Sheriff James Woodruff said. “We understand it is going to be about 90 days before they have some more people replaced if the current people stay. If they continue to lose people down there, they might have to have help for a little longer, but we’ve worked out all the wrinkles. We are ready to start [Wednesday], providing them with their first deputy down there.”

West Point City Manager Ed Moon and Captain Kevin Carter of the West Point Police Department have yet to respond to multiple attempts for comment from the Valley Times-News on how this might affect the city.

“I’m appreciative of the sheriff and the county commissioners being willing to help us out with this,” West Point Mayor Steve Tramell said. “We are grateful for their help.”