Dozier cuts funding for deputy

Published 12:19 am Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Town of Dozier and the Dozier Housing Authority agreed earlier this week to cut off the allocation for a deputy to patrol the town after they were not happy with the service for which they were paying.

At January’s meeting, the council and residents gathered told Crenshaw County Sheriff Mickey Powell that they wanted the service they were paying for or they would stop remitting the $2,333 per month to the Crenshaw County Commission for patrol.

Council members and residents began questioning the arrangement after the First National Bank of Dozier was robbed on Dec. 23, and the first law enforcement officer to arrive on the scene was Covington County Sheriff Dennis Meeks.

Business owners and town leadership both said at January’s meeting that they rarely saw deputies in the town.

Powell said that he believed that the sheriff’s office was patrolling the town a lot more than has been in years past when the town had one police officer.

He also cited being short-staffed.

Dozier Mayor Eugene Merrill notified Powell of the 30-day notice.

“I told him that the town people voted on it to put it on a 30-day notice, and he told me the contract ran out in 2014,” Merrill said. “So, he said there was no need in a 30-day notice.”

Merrill said he also spoke to the housing authority. Since May 2014, the town of Dozier and the Dozier Housing Authority had been splitting the $2,333 per month. The contract actually ended in December 2014.

This is the second time since 2013 that the town of Dozier has been without a police force.

The first time was from March 2013 until May 2014 after Former Police Chief Terry Mears resigned, and the council mulled whether to hire a new police officer or contract with the Crenshaw County Sheriff’s Office.

For now, Dozier residents and business owners will call 911 for emergencies.

The Luverne Journal contributed to this report.