PINE LAWN, Mo. – The North County Police Cooperative’s contract to police Pine Lawn ends Tuesday, Oct. 11. The co-op told FOX 2 last month it would not keep policing the area because of years of delinquent payments.
However, the department said it won’t leave Pine Lawn residents hanging. Though the police contract ends at midnight, the co-op says it will stay during the city’s transition to another provider.
The North County Police Cooperative has provided service to Pine Lawn for seven years.
“I think it’s just a sad situation because you’ve got to pay for service,” resident Nadine Newberry said.
Newberry followed the news about the city’s delinquent payments. She recently called police to report car break-ins and was surprised by the quick response.
“I felt good about the response. At least somebody’s out there listening,” she said. “Very surprised, because we’re seniors and we’re kind of isolated.”
“God bless them guys,” another resident said, who described how the co-op caught a guy who was trying to steal from his friend after his friend died in a car crash on Jennings Station Road.
“While the man was dead,” he said, “…trying to take all the jewelry off him, but they got all of it back, so they were doing their job. I’m glad the police caught him because that don’t make no sense, man. This man dead and you robbing him?”
Alderwoman Dionne Jones said, “I just hope this all works out.”
Jones has been trying to salvage Pine Lawn’s relationship with the North County Police Cooperative, beginning with an emergency meeting after FOX 2 first broke the story. She initiated a new policy she was surprised was not already in place – pay the police contract via direct deposit.
Jones adds that Pine Lawn knows what it’s getting with the co-op, which she says also sends a daily briefing email.
“Anything that they’ve done in Pine Lawn,” she said, “it’s in the report. So, I just double checked, because I know some people, I’m like, ‘Oh, did a police officer stop you today and talk to you?’ – (They’ll answer) ‘Yeah, he was pretty nice.’ So, they’re out there doing it.”
The co-op stands by what it first told FOX 2 last month – it will not submit a bid to continue police service in Pine Lawn. The co-op said it will continue serving month to month until the city finds new coverage.
In the meantime, FOX 2 has learned of two small municipal police departments who have sent proposals to police Pine Lawn.