by Graham Sturgeon, co-editor
The village of Byron, which has been without dedicated police coverage since January, is one step closer to replacing its disbanded police department after the Durand City Council approved an agreement Wednesday, June 29 to provide police service to the village. The agreement was drafted by Byron attorney John Gormley, and it calls for 20 hours of coverage per week, with a total annual budget of $30,000, including car maintenance, employee wages, and gas.
The Byron Village Council will need to approve the contract, which could happen during its July 11 meeting, and swear the Durand officers in to move the process along. The issue of whose car will be used is also still up in the air, though the two sides agree that it would be best to use the Byron police car, provided the car is in working order.
Byron Village Council members Tony Prestonise and Ron Berecz were in attendance for the meeting, and Prestonise thanked the council after the unanimous vote. “Thank you for working with us on this,” Prestonise said. “Not everyone realizes this, but small villages are in trouble and some aren’t going to survive. I think you’re going to see a lot more of this. I’m anxious to see how this works.”
It was also noted during the discussion that the Durand, county and state police departments worked to fill the void in Byron for the past five months. Byron’s bicycle-riding bank robber was also discussed, as Durand Police Chief Jason Hartz was the first officer on the scene of the April 27 robbery.