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Sheriff wants to establish precinct office in North Hall

POSTED: October 21, 2013 9:49 p.m.

Hall County Sheriff Gerald Couch said Monday he hopes to establish a full-service police precinct in Clermont.

Couch spoke to the Hall County Board of Commissioners during its work session . Hall and Clermont have had an intergovernmental agreement for the county to provide police services to the city. It’s part of a larger plan to turn part of the new City Hall building into a North Hall law enforcement precinct.

The Clermont Town Hall switched buildings earlier this year with the sheriff’s office to allow it a better office setup. City Hall now occupies the sheriff’s office’s former King Street location, and the sheriff’s office is in the council’s old Dean Street location.

Couch said he’ll put an entire patrol shift there, along with supervisors. It’s designed to improve response times in those areas and outlying areas in the county, he said. Traffic in Gainesville can hamper response times during peak times of service.

“My goal is to provide a full-service precinct, both in North and in South Hall,” the sheriff said. “We’re still trying to locate a location in South Hall.”

The sheriff’s office also plans to use impact fees to buy computers and other equipment. Couch said an impact fee was started that gave the department 1.3 percent of all impact fees and has about $130,000 in funding. He anticipates using $30,000 to $40,000.

Residents will see a big impact, Couch said. He left after he spoke at the meeting.

Clermont Mayor James Nix said the city hasn’t had many big problems, but a law enforcement presence helps deter crime. There’ll be more deputies around instead of just having a place nearby to switch vehicles, he said.


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