Indian trail meeting gets heated over law enforcement negotiatio - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Indian trail meeting gets heated over law enforcement negotiations

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INDIAN TRAIL, NC (WBTV) -

Over at Johnny K's In Indian Trial, the lunch conversation turned to last Saturday's town council meeting.

"I think it got out of hand, whoever was running the meeting let it get out of hand. The people that were there I thought was quite rude," said Arlie Rushing, an Indian Trail resident.

It wasn't your typical meeting. A debate over police protection turned into a shouting match between town officials, residents and deputies.

The town council considered forming its own police department and discontinuing its service with the Union County Sheriff's office - but ultimately decided against it at the meeting.

Now the town hopes it can compromise on a service agreement with the Sheriff's office.

But the suggestions so far haven't gone over so well with Sheriff Eddie Cathey.

"They're actually in this contract, basically saying that I give up some of the constitutional rights of my office of the Sheriff and turn it over to the city of Indian trail and that's not going to happen," said Sheriff Cathey.

Right now, the town pays the Sheriff's office about 1.8 million dollars for 21 deputies to service Indian Trial. That's a lot of money town officials say, which is why they want more say in how the money is spent.

"To shove the old contract down our throat which has no protections for the town,as a representative for Indian trial, I will not support that," said town council member Darlene Luther.

Town officials want the contract with the Sheriff's office to include a cap on spending for certain items, a breakdown of how often Indian trail deputies service non-paying towns, input in the hiring of some deputies and employees and a refund of unused funds.

Sheriff Cathey says he already does 85 percent of what the town is asking, so he doesn't understand the problem.

"That's the same contract by the way that we use for every contract town, every school resource officer, we've never had an issue with that contract," said Cathey.

Both sides told WBTV contract negotiations will continue.

They hope to have the issue resolved soon, so they can put it behind them.

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