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Fairfax Uses Private Security Firm To Help Fight Crime

FAIRFAX, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28) --  Fairfax is regarded by most as a typical Midwest community. Their new idea for fighting crime that is anything but typical, however.

The city already has the Linn County sheriffs office handle police services for 78 hours a month sometimes more. City Clerk Cynthia Stimson says they're bringing in a private security officer from Per-Mar to augment that.

We hope it will be a good compliment to the Linn County Sheriffs Office, Stimson said. He's just like a neighborhood watch person that's driving around for forty hours a week adding another pair of eyes.

They hope to address theft and vandalism in their rapidly growing town.

Anytime communities have growth, sometimes you're presented with problems and growing pains and things you need to look into, Stimson said.

However, the sheriff's office says petty crimes similar to what Fairfax is experiencing are common when students get out of school for the summer.

As far as Fairfax having anything out of the ordinary, we're not seeing that, Sheriff Brian Gardner said.

Gardner says he does understand the city's thinking.

If they want to contract some extra eyes and ears and have Per-Mar provide, we don't have a problem with that, Gardner said.

Residents we spoke to are mixed on the idea.

I don't think it hurtsright now I don't see the big need, resident Kay Moyer said.

Resident Jeff Johnson says its a great idea.

I think it's a good way to put something out there now, and stop anything else before it escalates into more, Johnson said.

Daniela Caffrey says extra security doesnt seem necessary.

There's not a lot of crime going I have to laugh at that, Caffrey said.

The security officer is set to patrol Fairfax 8 hours a day. The city is paying $14,000 to test the service for 90 days.
After the 90 day trial, the city will decide the future of the service.
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