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Foley suspends plan to hire private security guards

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The City of Foley has suspended a plan to use private security guards to provide police service next year.

In a narrowly divided 3-2 vote, the city council decided Tuesday to pursue a contract with the Benton County Sheriff to continue providing patrols.

That reversed a decision the council made last month to hire General Security Services Corporation to patrol Foley's streets.  Attorney General Lori Swanson urged the council to reconsider and attempted to broker a compromise between the city and the county.

Foley has offered the sheriff's department $263,000 dollars to provide police service next year. That's $18,000 dollars less than the sheriff's last offer. But it's far more than the private security patrols would have cost. The Foley city administrator, Sarah Brunn, says Benton County has not responded to the city's latest offer. If the offer is rejected, the city could still sign a contract with the private security firm. Regardless, the Benton County Sheriff would still respond to 911 calls.