Public hearing on merger slated for City of Hagan

Council seeks citizen input before voting on possible police department merger

In July a proposed merger of police services between the Hagan and Claxton Police Departments was presented at the towns’ respective council meetings.

Hagan Police Chief Andy Benjamin and Claxton Police Chief Dale Kirkland appeared before the councils and requested officials consider the proposal.

The proposal was written with the intent of ensuring full time police protection for the citizens and businesses in both cities.

The merger has been under discussion for the past few months. Hagan council has examined various aspects of the merger including budget savings and adjustments, police officer work schedules, and other details if the merger were to occur.

Under the proposed merger, Hagan will pay Claxton an annual contract fee of $145,000 for police services which reflects an annual savings of $31,474 for Hagan.

“The goal (of the merger) is to have 24 hour coverage for Hagan. I feel like I’m letting the citizens down every day because I know we don’t have the manpower for 24/7 (police) coverage,” said Hagan Police Chief Andy Benjamin.

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By Julie Braly, Editor