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Some police services may be cut for Moorhead residents

The economic times are prompting the Moorhead Police Department to consider dropping some services, including unlocking car doors and providing escorts for funerals.

The economic times are prompting the Moorhead Police Department to consider dropping some services, including unlocking car doors and providing escorts for funerals.

Police Chief David Ebinger told City Council members Monday that those services will continue, for now, but cost is increasingly becoming an issue.

City Council member Greg Lemke, who works for the Fargo Police Department, said when Fargo stopped providing the same services a number of years ago, the transition was a smooth one.

Ebinger made his remarks while presenting a proposed police department budget for 2011 that would total $7.5 million, which would be about $190,620 higher than the 2010 budget.

A large share of the increase would go for a proposed 1 percent pay increases in the administration division.

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Ebinger said the police department is looking at participating in a number of future initiatives, including relocation of the department's shooting range and relocation of the Red River Regional Dispatch Center.

Ebinger also told council members that space at the law enforcement center is not adequate to meet needs.

He said closets have been converted into offices and even with that, it is not unusual for several officers to share one office.

When talk turned to the level of crime in Moorhead, council member Mark Hintermeyer asked if there are any areas of town Ebinger would consider too dangerous to walk in.

"I don't think there's a problem anywhere in town. This is a safe community," Ebinger said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555

I'm a reporter and a photographer and sometimes I create videos to go with my stories.

I graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead and in my time with The Forum I have covered a number of beats, from cops and courts to business and education.

I've also written about UFOs, ghosts, dinosaur bones and the planet Pluto.

You may reach me by phone at 701-241-5555, or by email at dolson@forumcomm.com.
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