Hoschton closing its police department to save money

In a cost-cutting move, the city of Hoschton is closing its police department – at least for now.

“Our public safety department is going to go dormant,” The Gainesville Times quoted City Councilman Scott Butler as saying. “We don’t want it to go away forever, but right now in this crisis situation that we’re in, we are going to have to lay people off and take it dormant.”

By shuttering the department, the Jackson County city of about 1,100 residents expects it will save $360,000, the Athens Banner-Herald reported. The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office will handle calls within the city limits, the newspaper reported.

“We could no longer afford to fund public service as a duplicate service,” the Athens Banner-Herald quoted Mayor Erma Denney as saying. “Every property owner in Hoschton has already been paying for public safety through the sheriff’s office and always has been.”

The city does not have a property tax in place. As part of the move, the city is also closing its municipal court.

Hoschton is located just off Interstate 85 about 35 miles north of Atlanta.

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