- Associated Press - Friday, December 4, 2015

RIGBY, Idaho (AP) - Police officers in a southeastern Idaho city will be keeping their jobs after the City Council voted to keep the force in the budget.

The Rigby City Council voted Thursday not to contract its local policing through the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office as a cost-saving measure, The Post Register reports (http://bit.ly/1Rtiqo5 ).

The vote comes after months of debate, discussion and budget negotiation. The proposal to use the sheriff’s office would have saved the city $200,000 to $300,000 annually, but was met with public outcry.

Ryan Day, of Rigby, said he values the local police and doesn’t mind paying extra.

“The proposal with the county was not a guarantee,” Day said. “It is well worth it to maintain our department . as long as I’ve lived here the police have been great.”

The Police Department’s $712,000 annual budget accounts for about 55 percent of the city’s $1.2 million in tax revenue.

Mayor Jason Richardson brought up the proposal, saying saving the police department for the sake of saving employees stops progress, but at a public hearing on Oct. 1 not a single attendee was in favor of cutting the force.

“A city is as good as its people and the people who lead it,” said Shelley Police Chief Rod Mohler, who attended the public meeting. “No one can protect this community like the Rigby Police can.”

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Information from: Post Register, http://www.postregister.com

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