Brookhaven’s police force is scheduled to get off the ground this summer, but the city still has yet to ink an agreement with DeKalb County over how much the city will pay for the police services the county is providing.
After Brookhaven incorporated, DeKalb County Police agreed to continue patrolling the city until a Brookhaven police force was assembled. However, city and county officials have not yet signed off on an intergovernmental agreement that covers the scope and cost of Brookhaven’s interim police services.
Mekka Parish, public information officer for DeKalb County Police, said officials would not comment on the negotiations.
“Negotiations are not complete and we will not be able share any of those details until that time comes,” Parish said.
Brookhaven’s City Manager Marie Garrett and City Attorney Bill Riley, who have been conducting negotiations with the county, also would not discuss the pending intergovernmental agreement, also known as an IGA.
“The DeKalb IGA is still in negotiations and we cannot discuss it until it is finalized,” said Communications Director Megan Matteucci.
But at the City Council’s work session June 11, Garrett told council members that as far as the city and county agreeing on the cost of interim police services, “we are far apart.”
“Our number is far different from what they have provided,” Garrett said.
Mayor J. Max Davis, who also sat in recent negations with DeKalb officials, said, “Everything but the price is in agreement.”
Some Brookhaven City Council members were surprised by the initial cost estimates from DeKalb County. In May, Riley reported that the county had asked for $525,000 a month to provide police services to Brookhaven.
Councilman Bates Mattison said he is ready to see an agreement in place. “I would have liked for that agreement to be resolved and executed some time ago,” Mattison said.
Councilman Jim Eyre said he’s confident the two governments will reach an agreement.
“Negotiations have been amicable and productive. It’s an ongoing process and there’s no reason to rush something like that,” Eyre said.
He said he’s comfortable with officials taking time to make sure the agreement works for both the city and the county.
“We’re not going unserved,” Eyre said. “We’re just trying to get the details worked out that really sort of memorializes what we’re already doing. DeKalb has continued to honor their commitment to provide police services.”