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NCSO to provide extra help to Seaboard

JACKSON – The town of Seaboard will soon be a bit safer with help from the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office. The Northampton Board of Commissioners considered the proposal at their monthly work session held here at the J.W. Faison Auditorium in Jackson on Feb. 18.

NCSO Chief Deputy Daryl Harmon, speaking on behalf of Sheriff Jack Smith who could not attend the meeting, outlined the proposed agreement between the county and the town of Seaboard. Because the town does not currently employ any law enforcement officers, the Sheriff’s office has agreed to provide an officer to regularly carry out law enforcement duties for the town.

“We’ll make sure there’s an officer there at least 42 hours a week, 168 hours a month throughout the year,” Harmon said, stating the terms of the contract which will run until June 30, 2020 with the option to renew annually.

Harmon noted this agreement would help shorten response time to calls in town. When the officer is off-duty, the Sheriff’s Office will continue to provide its usual emergency response when necessary.

The contract also stated the town of Seaboard will pay the county for these law enforcement services in the amount of $56,000 annually. The funds will be used by the Sheriff for the salary, benefits, vehicle, gasoline, and all other expenses associated with the deputy employed to provide law enforcement for the town.

Also included in the contract is the transfer of the town’s law enforcement equipment to the county. This encompassed items such as service weapons, ammunition, and three police vehicles.

Board Chairman Charles Tyner joked that the Sheriff’s office wouldn’t need extra money in next year’s budget with the acquisition of the three vehicles. But on a more serious note, he also emphasized the importance of citizen safety.

“We want to make sure the citizens of Northampton County are safe,” he said, adding, “Seaboard is not the only town that does not have a police force.”

The commissioners do not typically make motions and vote during their monthly work sessions which are held on the third Monday of the month, but Commissioner Kelvin Edwards initially requested the Board hold a vote. Tyner, however, said they would wait until the next meeting which will be held on Monday, Mar. 4.

They are expected to unanimously approve the contract with Seaboard.