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Franklin County learns cost of potential new police department

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FRANKLIN COUNTY (WSLS 10) - Franklin County Supervisors have a better idea of what it would cost to create a new police department, following a presentation from County staff Tuesday.

It's a move only 9 other counties around the state have made.

County staff say, after reviewing the transition Roanoke County made in 1990, they predict the initial cost could be more than $600 thousand, with ongoing costs potentially totaling more than $1.7 million.

County Administrator Brent Robertson says those initial costs would include things like new uniforms, a new space to house the police department, and new equipment.

The ongoing costs would be things like salaries and potential rent or mortgage payments on the new space.

John Atkinson, who moved to Franklin from Prince William County Virginia, that has a police department, says aside from increased taxes, citizens will not get better service.

"Citizen is being robbed across the street. Deputy goes to the citizen and says Mr. Citizen, since the board of supervisors has transferred the police department responsibilities to them, you must contact the police department, have a nice day," said Atkinson.

Supervisors said Tuesday they do not expect this decision to go to a public vote this November.

If it does at all, it will likely be voted on by the public in November of 2017.

Among other concerns heard Tuesday, another resident, Oscar Pagans, says he doesn't think the County has enough administrative staff to oversee a new police force, and in the past, Sheriff Bill Overton has said he would rather that money be invested in his department so his deputies could better serve the County.