Final decision on TRIDENT on hold | PostIndependent.com
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Final decision on TRIDENT on hold

Carbondale trustees stopped short of pulling out of the interagency Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Team this week, preferring to wait until an independent police department audit is complete.A nearly $1.2 million police budget for 2005 does not include funding for continued participation in the organization. Instead, it replaces the officer position currently assigned to TRIDENT with a patrol officer assigned to a regular beat.But that could change after the first of the year, when the town hears from consultants who are in the process of evaluating internal police department operations, as well as the community’s perception of its police force.TRIDENT has been criticized by some citizens and trustees who believe its undercover operations and sometimes heavy-handed arrest procedures aren’t in keeping with Carbondale’s emerging philosophy of “community policing.” But a majority of the trustees agreed they’d rather wait on the consultants’ report before making the decision to pull out of the organization altogether.Until the trustees make a decision, Carbondale will continue to participate with TRIDENT. If that’s the decision, Police Chief Gene Schilling said the town would need to make a longer-term commitment by early March when TRIDENT must re-apply for federal funding.TRIDENT funding could be added back into the budget, at a cost of between $40,000 and $60,000 (with half of that coming from the town’s federal grant portion). But that would mean either digging deeper into reserve funds, or that another town department probably wouldn’t get a new position funded, Town Manager Tom Baker said.TRIDENT funding could be added back into the budget, at a cost of between $40,000 and $60,000 (with half of that coming from the town’s federal grant portion). But that would mean either digging deeper into reserve funds, or that another town department probably wouldn’t get a new position funded, Town Manager Tom Baker said.


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