Malone City Officials Debate Renewing Deputy Contract at Substation

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Malone city officials are debating whether or not they want to continue to pay the Jackson County Sheriff's Office for extra law enforcement services.

The city pays the Sheriff's Office to maintain a substation manned by a deputy.

The city has been leasing the deputy since October 2000, but in five years the cost of the contract has gone up more than $10,000 a year.

"That's a lot of money for a small town like Malone and then you have to decide is it worth it to lease the deputy or not," said Malone Mayor Gene Wright.

Malone residents started questioning the safety when city council members voted last month to end the contract with the Sheriff's Office, so the council decided to revisit the issue in their upcoming meeting.

"The ones that I've gotten have wanted to keep it more than those who have told me they didn't, so I will still stay that way because of the townspeople in my opinion are still feeling we need it," said town council member Randy Ward.

With or without the contract, the Jackson County Sheriff's Office will still be responsible for protecting Malone, but the substation means faster response and a lower crime rate.

"You have less of those problems by having an officer there at a substation. You ride by, you see the substation, you know an officer is pretty close by. It changes the idea of doing the crime," said Jackson County Sheriff John McDaniel.

The council will take up the issue at their next meeting on November 14.