Andrews council discusses recent crime in town

The Andrews Town Council discussed crime in town and ways to prevent it at its meeting on Monday, June 26.

Both the board and Town Marshal Austin Bullock attempted to calm the nerves of citizens in attendance who were shaken by a home invasion that had occurred in town on Monday, June 19.

Council and Bullock responded to calls for the hiring of a third full-time officer for the police department. Board members explained that such a hire was not being considered at this time because of the fiscal challenge it would pose to the town. Rather than bringing on another full-time officer, Bullock explained that he would see that the town had police protection through the utilization of part-time and reserve officers.

Currently, the town’s police department employs two part-time officers and two reserve officers. Bullock expressed interest in growing those ranks and informed Clerk-Treasurer Laura Dillon that he would like to review the budget to see if hiring another part-time officer would be possible.

Council did hire a new deputy marshal at the meeting. Joseph Becker, a deputy with the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department, was brought onboard to replace Matt Farthing. Bullock stated that Becker would join the department in two weeks. Until that time, Bullock noted that he would work extra shifts, utilize his part-time and reserve officers and rely on assistance from the Huntington County Sheriff’s Department to see that the town had satisfactory police coverage.

In the interests of making Andrews safer, council informed attendees that it would look into installing security cameras around town, lights and neighborhood watch signs.

In other business:

Council noted that it had received $600,000 from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs earlier that day for the town’s wastewater treatment plant project. The board awarded the construction contract for the project to Thieneman Construction, from Westfield.

The board noted that the first round of street paving in town would commence in August. E&B Paving will perform the work.

Utility Superintendent Colin Bullock reported that his department had just one more water leak to fix before it successfully complied with an agreed order from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.