- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 1, 2014

LOVELAND, Colo. (AP) - Residents of Berthoud may have to pay Larimer County for law enforcement services following a scandal that rocked their local police department.

Last October, Berthoud police officer Jeremy Yachik was arrested on child abuse charges after video surfaced of Yachik allegedly beating his daughter. Berthoud Police Chief Glenn Johnson was accused of covering up the incident.

Not long after his arrest, Yachik was fired by the town of Berthoud. Johnson resigned amid the allegations in mid-December. Yachik has denied the allegations.

Larimer County commissioners met Monday to discuss the town of Berthoud’s decision to contract police services from the county sheriff’s office, which is expected to be formally approved.

The contract would cover the next two years, allowing the cash- and resource-strapped town to come up with some way to rebuild its police department. The contract was signed on March 25, but it must first clear the commissioners before becoming official.

At Monday’s meeting, representatives from the sheriff’s office gave commissioners details of the contract, which requires that Berthoud pay $759,162 each year for 19 hours of service per day. The county will provide a police chief, a sergeant and four deputies. Berthoud will also have a school resource officer. The Thompson School District would agree to pay half the salary, with deputies providing service the rest of the time.

“We’re responding to a crisis, however I think being able to provide this service to our municipalities is a good thing,” Commissioner Lew Gaiter III said. “It’s nice to be able to do that for our smaller organizations. This has been a phenomenal move on the part of the sheriff to step in and be there, so this is part of continuing that partnership.”

In a little over two years, when the contract with the county expires, the town may regain control of its own police department. If the current arrangement works out, though, Commissioner Steve Johnson said he thinks there’s no reason the contract couldn’t be extended, the Loveland Reporter-Herald reported Tuesday (https://tinyurl.com/ndqyfug).

“As far as the future, that’s up to the town of Berthoud and their citizens to decide,” Johnson said. “I can’t speak for the sheriff’s office, but I think the board would definitely be willing to help them by providing these services as long as they’re needed and as long as we can agree on a contractual amount.”

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Information from: Loveland Daily Reporter-Herald, https://www.reporterherald.com/

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