GEORGETOWN, Ind. (WDRB) -- The Georgetown Town Council acknowledged for the first time publicly Monday night that it explored a deal with the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office over the summer to provide police coverage.
The admission at a packed meeting of the town council confirms earlier reporting by WDRB News based on emails obtained under Indiana’s public records law. The correspondence showed that Floyd County Sheriff Frank Loop and Georgetown’s attorney, Kristi Fox, discussed detailed terms of adding three sheriff’s officers, including the cost of salaries and benefits.
Georgetown council member Chris Loop, who is Sheriff Loop’s son, said Monday that “some members” of the board looked into a partnership with the sheriff’s office to provide around-the-clock service due to the annual $350,000 cost for its department and turnover in the town’s police department. The Georgetown agency doesn’t patrol at all hours.
Rumors about the future of the Georgetown department have been the talk of the town of about 3,000 people west of Louisville for months. At the same time, two officers were placed on leave as part of an investigation by Indiana State Police.
Chris Loop emphasized that the discussions with the sheriff’s office didn’t meet the requirements for a public meeting, noting that a meeting of three or more of the town council’s five members would have been open to citizens.
“If those members of the board had found a beneficial option with the sheriff’s department, they would have brought it forward to the full board for public discussion,” he said.
Richard Stiles, who attended Monday’s meeting, told the council the negotiations were “appropriate” and thanked members for their work, while others took issue with the lack of information about the closed-door talks.
“There’s a sentiment that why would we believe when they denied that there was any negotiating going on when WDRB has uncovered the emails showing that there were negotiations going on?” Michael Harris said.
Loop responded by saying that in August the board declined to comment on speculation on the department. “That’s important to note – we didn’t lie,” he said.
Everett Pullen, the town council’s president, told WDRB last month that he wasn’t aware of the correspondence between the town’s attorney and Sheriff Loop’s office.
Pullen confirmed after Monday’s meeting that there had been discussions between some council members and Fox with Sheriff Loop’s office. He repeatedly declined to say who authorized those discussions.