MORRISON – Morrison voters sent a strong message with their pocketbooks Tuesday night as they defeated a referendum asking for more money to add a police officer to the department.
In a close vote, the referendum failed to pass yet again, 273 no votes to 221 yes votes.
Six officers and Chief Brian Melton now handle all of the criminal investigations and service calls for the city.
The department needed an additional officer because the rise in service calls is hampering the department’s ability to investigate crimes, Melton said.
Voters were asked to allow the city to raise the available police levy to a rate not to exceed .225 percent of the value of all its taxable property.
The officer would have been paid up to $77,000 a year.
City officials did a study of area police departments and found that Morrison had the smallest number of officers per capita in the northern part of the state.