In September, the city of Norwood completed its law enforcement study with a third party to determine which option might be best: hire a new city marshal or let the San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office continue to operate. manage peacekeeping.
Paul Schultz of Municipal Police Consultants came from Broomfield to assess Norwood’s situation. Previously, to help support Schultz’s study, city administrator Patti Grafmyer had gathered the necessary paperwork ahead of time. These included things like workloads and certain contacts.
Schultz spent half a day going through Norwood’s records, getting what he needed, in order to advise city officials. Grafmyer told the Norwood Post that things like the cost of uniforms, health insurance, weapons and a marshal’s vehicle are also part of the equation.
“So many things are taken into account,” Grafmyer said.
The analysis lasted about a week and a half.
According to Grafmyer, after Schultz had time to study the various data points, he determined that the Norwood City Marshal’s Department was in fact “very well organized and well equipped”.
He also told city officials that the department was not overloaded with a single officer in the marshal role. Additionally, Schultz added that in order to have 24/7 coverage, a break would of course be required for the officer.
And if the city has continued in this capacity, some things need to be considered. Schultz said the city marshal’s salaries should match surrounding agencies and that a signing bonus would also help. It is also suggested to participate in the pension plan specifically for police officers and firefighters.
Considering Norwood’s contract with the sheriff’s office currently in place, Schultz also said it was “a lot” for the amount the city was paying.
What Schultz also suggested, however, was that the city was considering a hybrid model, where there could be a part-time Norwood officer, backed up by part-time county coverage.
Grafmyer said that doesn’t have to be a situation.
When asked for his opinion, with more than 30 years of experience overseeing city affairs, Grafmyer said there are pros and cons to having a marshal versus county coverage. . She said communication might be a little easier with a city marshal, since the marshal has an office at Norwood City Hall. It is convenient for Grafmyer to relay messages and inform law enforcement of upcoming events or situations.
At this point, the county will continue to cover Norwood’s law enforcement needs through December 31. But city officials must let Sheriff Bill Masters know before then if that deal will stand. Grafmyer said she expects the board to discuss the matter as early as the October monthly meeting.
“So we can budget,” she said, “both of us.”
Already, the Norwood Town Board of Directors has held a working session to discuss enforcement options. Now they’re going to send out a survey to residents, asking for their opinion. Grafmyer said the survey will have an online option, as well as a hard copy option. The survey will be anonymous.
Now there is an application on file for the position of Norwood Town Marshal.