Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Working agreement reached between local law enforcement agencies

 


Just as in days past, agreements can be made and kept based on a word and a handshake. That is how acting Kimball Police Chief Andy Bremer feels about the recent agreement made between his department and the Kimball County Sheriff’s Office.

A working agreement has been reached between the two entities that provides relief for the local police department when needed and continued KPD backup for the Sheriff’s Office, as they have always done.

“Its basically going back to the way, I think, it was at one time,” Bremer said. “If he (Sheriff Gillway) leaves town I can cover for him, vice versa, he can cover for me.”

Though an official document is not yet in place, Bremer said that he doesn’t think it is necessary at this point.

“I personally don’t think we need an actual document,” he said.

“The time is right, now that we have a working agreement with the County Sheriff,” Prunty said.

The process began after former Kimball Police Chief Darren Huff resigned, leaving the local force with just four officers on a crew that was already short-handed by one full-time officer.

Bremer and Kimball County Sheriff Harry Gillway discussed filling in the gaps to provide the expected level of coverage for citizens. Both leaders then sought the blessing of the City Council and the Board of County Commissioners in a joint meeting of the two governing bodies.

“Right now, while they are going through a shortage, we have agreed to let my deputies work patrol duties for the City on their days off,” Gillway said. “I’ll allow them to wear our uniform and use our vehicles but they (the City) will pay the expense.”

Gillway added that each force will answer calls for the other when necessary.

Currently both the City of Kimball and Kimball County are taking it one step at a time but the potential for improved relations is not lost.

“We are just looking to improve every relation we have between the City and the County and have us all together. In the future, no one knows what is going to happen,” Prunty said. “I think right now it is going to help us a lot.”

As for what the future may hold, Gillway said it is still too early to tell.

“Again, right now we are working on a case-by-case basis. We are not merging in the classic sense, we are cooperating to make the community safer, ensure officer safety and to save taxpayers’ money,” Gillway said. “Perhaps, in time we can do county-wide policing but this is a first step… I think in the right direction. It’s still kind of early to see how this all will work.”

 

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