Holly Springs Police chief concerned over population, safety
by Joshua Sharpe
jsharpe@cherokeetribune.com
March 22, 2013 12:00 AM | 2699 views | 3 3 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With the city of Holly Springs seeing continued population growth and bracing itself for anticipated hikes in crime the coming Wal-Mart may bring, Holly Springs Police Chief Ken Ball believes the city is outgrowing its police department and is calling for more funding for additional officers.

A staff of 20 officers now serves the city of Holly Springs, which has, in Cherokee County fashion, ballooned to more than twice its size in the past decade, settling in at about 10,000 citizens.

Ball said Thursday that is causing his department issues.

Naturally, he said, “As the population increases, the calls (for police) increase.”

He’s asking for three new full-time and two part-time officers to be added in the next 24 months. This would take the force back to 25 officers, as it was before the economic downturn in recent years. Starting salary for a Holly Springs police officer is about $45,000 after benefits.

City Manager Rob Logan agrees that a need exists for more officers, but said that Ball’s hope for five might not be in the cards.

“I know that we may be able to look at adding one in our 2014 budget,” he said. Any more than that, he said he doesn’t see possible in Ball’s timeframe.

That would leave the city with only 21 officers on staff by the time Wal-Mart, which will be across Interstate 575 from Prominence Point, opens toward the end of 2014.

Ball projected the new store could drastically increase calls for police assistance.

Ball expects thefts from cars in the parking lot, accidents in the parking lot and shoplifting to cause problems for his department.

“With growth comes additional problems,” he said.

One of these problems Ball said he’s trying to avoid is increases in police response time on priority calls which need assistance more quickly than some others.

In recent years, response times from Holly Springs Police Department have increased to roughly between 5 and 8 minutes for priority calls.

Ball said these numbers are too high.

“I’d like for it to stay in a 5 minute window,” he said.

Response times are expected to continue their uptick without the addition of new officers, Ball said.
Comments
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Drew P. Cox
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March 23, 2013
Chief Ball is a good man - classic, old-school law enforcement. If he says he needs 'em, he needs 'em, and the City Manager should stop spending money on worthless crap like putting 'Welcome to Holly Springs' on the damn I575 overpass, and start finding ways to give the Chief the manpower he needs. As for giving up speed enforcement, buddy, are you kidding? Just because you like to break the speed limits doesn't mean I want you killing my ass on the highway. Slow down for safety - or get an expensive ticket!
Just Me
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March 22, 2013
Here is an idea for the chief - take your officers off of the I-575 speed trap and have them sit in the Walmart parking lot. Problem solved.
Cherokee Guy
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March 25, 2013
Just Me you complain a lot. Look up the definition of "speed trap" and it is not a speed trap if any officers in any place are sitting out running radar. Of course if you are speeding 80, 90, 100 mph, and yep they are all the time, which leads to killing me, my family, your family, or even you I applaud Holly Springs, Canton, and Woodstock for slowing you idiots down and giving you the ticket you so deserve. Been way too many people killed on I-575 in the last 6 months.
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