Town board approves contract with LCSO
Tuesday night at a special meeting of the Berthoud Board of Trustees, held virtually via Zoom video conference, the board voted unanimously, 7-0, to approve a services contract agreement with the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) to provide police and law enforcement services to Berthoud.
The agreement assures the LCSO will continue to provide police services to the town for the 2021 calendar year with the same level of service as 2020. According to information provided to the board by Town Administrator Chris Kirk, the proposed agreement is nearly identical to the 2016 Agreement with minor changes regarding the cost of jail detention, the assignment of a deputy to serve as Chief of Police and updates to the liability provisions … with no increase in personnel but does include additional overhead costs requested by the County administrative office and not the Sheriff.
Mayor Will Karspeck said the agreement, “seems pretty straight forward,” and there was little discussion by the board and no public comment was made. After Kirk outlined the agreement in broad strokes, Trustee Lonnie Stevens motioned to approve the agreement, Trustee Mike Grace seconded and the roll call vote was held will all seven members voting yes.
The decision to renew the agreement comes on the heels of a raucous public debate that unfolded over the late summer and early fall months pertaining to the LCSO’s actions at the Back the Blue and Black Lives Matter rallies held in town July 26 and Aug. 1, respectively.
Following the rallies, two members of the board spearheaded efforts to contract with an Arizona-based law firm to conduct a review of the LSCO’s actions and even led discussions centering on the possibility of not renewing the services agreement with LCSO, finding another law enforcement entity to handle policing operations in town or to create Berthoud’s own police department.
After a number of lengthy debates and extensive input from the public, the board voted 6-1 at a meeting held on Sept. 22 to require the LCSO to conduct an internal investigation and report back to the board by the end of the year.
At this week’s meeting, Kirk informed the board that the LCSO will be providing the results of their internal investigation to the board in the coming days for their review. Following a suitable period of time for trustees and town staff to review the report, a joint work session will be held between the board and representatives of the LCSO, including Sheriff Justin Smith, to discuss the report’s findings and, in Kirk’s words, “talk about how to strengthen the partnership.” The date of the work session will be announced in near future.
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