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Claxton and Hagan to Discuss Merging Police Departments

The City of Claxton and the City of Hagan have agreed to enter into talks to discuss the merging of the police departments.

Claxton Police Chief Dale Kirkland was at the Claxton Council meeting Monday night for a presentation and to field questions from the council. Hagan Police Chief Andy Benjamin was also present along with one of his officers, Tyler Barnard.

Kirkland said both cities would see a savings from a merger while allowing for a streamlined and efficient operating procedure. The merger would also provide more coverage to both Hagan and Claxton. Based on the FY 2019 budgets, Hagan would save $66,374 and Claxton would save $17,499.86.

The highlighted benefits to the City of Hagan include:

  • Adding two additional officers to the PD which achieves at least two police officers on patrol at all times
  • Greater officer presence and visibility
  • Saving the possibility of a tax increase as the city grows and the need for more officers arises
  • Opportunity to build a successful rank structure inside the PD

The highlighted benefits to the City of Hagan include:

  • Full-time police protection for the citizens and businesses
  • Saving money in the overall budget that can be utilized elsewhere
  • Potentially stops the possibility of a tax increase which benefits the citizens
  • Full time police dispatch and records management
  • Retention of officers with better pay

The full presentation provided to councils in both cities, which include the terms and conditions of the agreement, is available below:

new doc 2018-07-17 14.26.53

Jessica Szilagyi is a former Statewide Contributor for

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