Sheriff offers city "fair" deal on task force

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By Mark Scohier, Staff writer

 Newly elected Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum aims to keep Chiefland involved in ridding the streets of drugs.

"We would love the city to continue to be a part of the task force," McCallum told city commissioners Monday night during his presentation of a new contract for the  Levy Multi-Jurisdictional Task Force between the Levy County Sheriff's Office and the city's police department.

Last year, commissioners questioned the Chiefland Police Department's involvement on the task force, saying they weren't happy with the percentage of money the city was getting from the sale of assets associated with drug forfeitures.

The city was getting about 25 percent, though the agreement called for money from assets to be split evenly. That was despite CPD supplying only one officer on the five-person task force.

Monday, McCallum presented a contract that he said would guarantee that assets would indeed be split evenly, though the city would not get any money until about $10,000 in annual expenses for its officer were covered.

"Your position in the task force is important," McCallum said, explaining that about a quarter of the 247 cases last year stemmed from investigations in Chiefland.

McCallum, who lives in Chiefland, said he felt it important for LCSO to continue to have a good, "working relationship" with the city and CPD.

"This is gettin' some bad folks off the streets. That's our No. 1 concern." Any money that's recovered is extra, he added. "That's our proposal. We believe it's fair."

Commissioner Rollin Hudson asked how assets would be divided if another agency were to join. McCallum said that things would continue to be divided up evenly. Three agencies would each get a third of the assets, he said.

Hudson said it sounded like a good deal for the city, though, he added, "I could care less about the assets. I want the arrests."

Commissioners held off on a decision, stating they wanted to look at the contract a little more and give CPD Chief Robert Douglas and Mayor Teal Pomeroy, both of whom were not in attendance due to illness and family matters, time to consider the issue.

Chiefland Police Department Deputy Chief Al Graves, speaking later in the meeting, said he thought Douglas would be happy with the arrangement.

"I'm sure when he hears about this 50 percent offer ... I think we're getting our bang for our buck in Chiefland."