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MARCH 7 HEARING TO FOCUS ON FUTURE ROLE OF SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT IN VILLAGE

A public hearing to discuss the future of police protection in the Village of Alden will be held at 7 p.m. March 7 in Village Hall.

The village is deciding if it should renew its contract with the Erie County Sheriff's Department for police protection or establish its own force.

Village Clerk Betty Kegler said a survey of residents intended to determine if existing police coverage should be changed will be sent out next week.

The surveys must be returned by March 13.

Village officials said a survey is being done because state law prohibits a referendum on the issue.

Sheriff's deputies currently patrol the village for 16 hours per day. The deputies are stationed out of Village Hall and are provided a patrol car by the village.

The village's contract with the Sheriff's Department expired May 31.

The village paid about $238,000 for annual coverage from the Sheriff's Department before the contract expired.

The village currently pays for police coverage on a monthly basis. Alden is paying the county $1,100 more per month than it had under the expired contract.

Sheriff Patrick Gallivan has said the county has to charge a set rate for any additional service given to municipalities that is not already provided other towns in the county.

He said the Sheriff's Department can be flexible on shift times or work assignments of deputies stationed in Alden.

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