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Posted on May 21, 2019

Port of Quincy discusses idea of its own police force

Commissioners of the Port of Quincy covered a lot of territory in their May 8 meeting, discussing topics as different as crime and a tourism-boosting community event.
Early in the meeting was a presentation and request from two representatives of Quincy Valley Historical Society & Museum, Ed Field and Harriet Weber. Field said the society appreciated the Port commissioners’ support, $3,000, for the Celebration of Cultures last year. It was a new event, created by the QVHSM, and held at the Heritage Park.
“We think for the first year it went very, very well,” Field said.
The next Celebration of Cultures is scheduled for Sept. 28, Field said. Last year, the event was held in October. The society is already lining up entertainment groups and needs sponsors to help pay for them to come to Quincy.
Port commissioners voted in favor of a $3,000 sponsorship for the 2019 event.
The board then went through its agenda, including updates on the Port’s industrial properties. After that, Commissioner Curt Morris opened a discussion of crime and the possibility of the Port starting its own police force.
The Port has had a proposal to do that from Dan Couture, president of IFP Inc., which currently provides security services to the Port. Couture was at the May 8 meeting.
“We have the authority to do it,” Morris said, but there is a lot to think about before starting a police force.
Commissioners agreed they need to meet with Quincy Chief of Police Kieth Siebert soon and discussed a date. Morris said he wants to convey to Siebert what the Port’s needs are and for a more visible presence of Quincy police officers.
Commissioner Pat Connelly voiced his opinion that starting a police force is beyond the Port’s reach. He also emphasized that there is a difference between a security force and a police force.
Couture has offered to do a feasibility study for the Port that looks at forecast costs and options for both a security force and a police force.
“There’s a lot of activity and thievery going on,” Couture told commissioners during the discussion of crime.
“A major incident would have a huge impact on this community,” Couture said, adding that there is a moderate probability of a major incident in the current environment.
Other matters before the Port included:
• Commissioners discussed a recent request from local industrial water users for the Port to consider again getting involved in the issue of wastewater. Commissioner Brian Kuest said the Port would have to discuss the matter with some of the players involved before taking any steps.
• The new speaker system has been installed in the Port’s Quincy Valley Business & Conference Center, formerly known as the Community Center. Commissioners discussed issues surrounding the installation.
• Stetner Electric is almost done with electrical improvements at Industrial Park 5 and will soon set up light poles up along the new road into the park. Commissioners again talked about the proposed sign, gravel needed and the size of the sign.
• Chris Dowd reported that Colockum Ridge Golf Course is in great shape. Wind was delaying spraying for weeds. That triggered a discussion of spraying at other Port properties and about water use at the golf course.

By Dave Burgess,