Elkhart city council considers bringing back police department or hiring city marshal

Anderson County Sheriff’s Office currently handles law enforcement needs for city

Elkhart city council considers bringing back police department or hiring city marshal

ELKHART, TEXAS (KLTV) - The City of Elkhart is considering bringing back its police department or hiring a city marshal.

“By ordinance, we have one on the books,” city administrator Judith Cantrell said. “But it’s been years since it has been active. We are currently looking at reactivating it.”

Since the police department was eliminated, the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office has taken care of law enforcement needs for the city, which is home to about 1,370 people.

“Right now we have to wait for the sheriff to get here,” Cantrell said. “Sometimes they’re close, sometimes they’re not.”

Cantrell says along with bringing back the department or a city marshal, there would be tax money generated from things like traffic citations.

And while the city sees this as a proactive effort for future growth, some residents say there are bigger issues for the city.

“The City of Elkhart cannot, and I repeat, cannot afford the luxury of a police department,” former councilman Billy Jack Wright said.

Wright says the city has water and sewer issues that he feels needs to be addressed first.

“It’s a crumbling infrastructure that is in need of some dire updates,” Wright said. “Yesterday was too late.”

The city administrator agrees that there are bigger issues, and says bringing the police department back would be something that would take time and not happen right away, a decision that she feels would ultimately do the city good in the future.

The police department/city marshal issue was on the agenda at a special meeting of the council this past Saturday, June 22. Action on the item was delayed by a disturbance that ended with a call to the sheriff’s office for assistance when orders to clear the walkway were ignored. The council will address the issue again at their next meeting on Monday, July 1.

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