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Berkeley Lake discusses options with police force

BERKELEY LAKE - City officials learned this week that Gwinnett County will no longer allow Berkeley Lake to purchase extra police patrolling from the county as of Sept. 13.

With Gwinnett's recent decision to offer early retirement to many of its officers, an unresolved Service Delivery Strategy and daunting budget issues, county officers will be needed first and foremost for county patrolling. While this notification does not mean that residents of Berkeley Lake will not see Gwinnett officers in their community at all, there will be a much reduced presence.

Berkeley Lake mayor Lois Salter said she does not want her residents to be without a noticeable police presence in the city. For that reason, she has talked with Gwinnett cities that employ city marshals and use security services for policing solutions.

Another possible remedy for the decreased police presence problem in the city is to pay Duluth or Norcross officers to patrol Berkeley Lake streets, much like county officers have been doing for years.

Council members voted to call a special meeting, probably next week, in which representatives from two security firms will be present to answer council questions. City leaders said they will make a decision as to how to fill the policing gap once they have had their questions answered.