Shamrock City Council considering cutting police department, dis - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Shamrock City Council considering cutting police department, dispatch system

The line is out the door for this evening's Shamrock City Council Meeting (Source: KFDA) The line is out the door for this evening's Shamrock City Council Meeting (Source: KFDA)
Shamrock CIty Hall is packed with residents (Source: KFDA) Shamrock CIty Hall is packed with residents (Source: KFDA)
Shamrock City Manager Tommye Cole goes through the budget (Source: KFDA) Shamrock City Manager Tommye Cole goes through the budget (Source: KFDA)
SHAMROCK, TX (KFDA) -

Shamrock residents are voicing their opinions as the city council works on next year's budget.

This comes after Shamrock Police were asked to use their comp days while the city works to restructure the department to be more "financially sound."

Shamrock firefighters, Wheeler County sheriff's deputies and many residents were all at city hall this evening, eager to speak during public forum.

"I don't feel like all the bases are being covered," said Shamrock resident Tiffany Berten. 

She addressed the council, explaining she's already experienced a problem since Shamrock Police were asked to use their comp days.

When there was an emergency at her house, she says it took too long for law enforcement to show up.

"We had called and they told us an officer would be there shortly, and five to ten minutes later, Wheeler County had called me and I had to make my report all over again," said Berten. "They said an officer would be there later and 20 to 30 minutes later, an officer actually showed up. So that's a huge deal at 4:30 in the morning when you're in distress calling 911."

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It could be possible that the Wheeler County Sheriff's Office could permanently be taking over, as the city council is looking for services to cut out of their budget.

"We are looking at our police department and our dispatch," said City Manager Tommye Cole. "There's not much other areas to make adjustments in our city. None of us want change but we gotta keep our water, our sewer our sanitation our infrastructure going. And to be able to do that, we're going to have to make some adjustments."

Cole said their community is changing, and they have to change with it.

"If the money isn't there, it's just not there," said Cole. "That's what we're looking at in our budget. We've got some good council members that are working very hard to see if there's some changes we can make and anything we possibly can do to save our pd and our dispatch. We're going to look at those numbers tonight and see if there's anything we can do, but our revenues are way down from years in past."

However, some fear the community will face safety concerns if they lose the police department and the dispatch all too soon.

"I just think it's a bad idea," said Mary Kay Tallant. "Once you get rid of your dispatch, you will never get it back. And if we don't have it here locally, our fire department is at the mercy of the Wheeler County one to dispatch them out. They don't know our roads no more than we know their roads."

Shamrock Mayor Aaron Shannon was not present this evening, but he did tell NewsChannel10 a decision regarding the Shamrock Police Department will be made August 20.

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