Hyde Park to decide on police department split next week

HYDE PARK — A 32-year relationship between Hyde Park and North Logan police forces may be on the chopping block next week.

At Thursday night’s planning and zoning commission meeting, Mayor Bryan Cox announced that an “apples to apples” study has been completed, comparing the best policing options for the city, both fiscally and safety-wise.

Cox, who presented the idea of a split more than two months ago, said the council is prepared to make a decision at their Nov. 9 meeting. The council may vote to join forces with the Cache County Sheriff’s Office, create an independent police force or remain with North Park. Cox has indicated that while a move could save the city money, there is a strong concern about citizen safety.

“It’s a matter of how much service we want,” Cox said. “They are ready to move forward and have that discussion and make a decision. We owe the officers in North Logan a decision.”

Currently, the North Park Police Department provides both cities 24-hour coverage. Hyde Park pays nearly a quarter of North Park’s $1 million budget.

Cox also brought another issue to the floor concerning North Logan. Because of multiple accidents on 800 East in recent months, North Logan Mayor Lloyd Berentzen has created a citizen council for input to create a solution to make the street more safe. One of those options is lowering the speed limit from 35 to 30 mph. While Cox called the accidents “horrific,” he told the planning commission lowering the limit would create a speed trap between the sister cities.

“I have asked that before they do this to please not have a knee jerk reaction,” he said. “We understand that people may have emotion about the accident, but the accident as I understand was due to an inattentive driver. Slowing up makes it a less horrific accident, but it’s still going to happen.”

While Cox said he is working with the city of North Logan, he insisted that Hyde Park will not change the speed limit on their side.

“Hyde park city is not going to decrease thier speed,” said. “…it would be an ill-advised decision.”

Published in cooperation with the Hard News Cafe. Original story is here.