Jacksonville Police Department To Disband

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The Athens County Sheriff's Office received word that it will be taking over the responsibilities of the Jacksonville Police Department, which is disbanding.

Sheriff Patrick Kelly confirmed the move to The Messenger on Friday, saying he had received an official letter from Frank Lavelle, village solicitor.

"I know villages are having a tough time with the economy and, like us, they are trying to balance their budgets," Kelly said. "We will provide the residents of Jacksonville with all the protections we can."

In a Facebook post, Kelly wrote he was informed the action was based upon advice from the state auditor.

Carrie Bartunek, spokeswoman for the state auditor's office, disputed that claim Friday. She said the auditor's office only identifies problems and never makes recommendations about what to do to fix those issues.