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Councilors ponder Sandy police proposal

Current contract with the sheriffs office expires in August


When the Estacada City Council met on Feb. 11, Lt. Shayne Strangfield of the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office described the services the city receives through its public safety contract with that agency.

But in a Monday, Feb. 25, workshop, councilors heard a similar pitch from Sandy Police Department Chief Kim Yamashita.

Councilors Curt Steninger and Jodi Scott were absent from the workshop and the regular session that followed. City Manager Bill Elliott was out of town due to a family emergency.

Mayor Brent Dodrill began the workshop by stating that Councilor Sean Drinkwine suggested the concept of the cities of Sandy and Estacada working together on law enforcement.

Yamashita presented councilors with a proposal comparing the costs of the city’s current contract with the sheriff’s office and what her agency could provide.

The existing contract expires in August, and costs the city $463,596 per year. Under the proposal put forth by Yamashita, the city would pay $394,691, a savings of $68,878.

Most of the line item expenses listed in the proposal are the same or less as those in the current contract with the sheriff’s office. One of the biggest differences, Yamashita said, is that Sandy police officers are paid less than deputies.

Yamashita added that her department is part of a major crimes team, and its detectives assist other agencies. Through the use of mutual aid agreements, she said, the Sandy detectives can accommodate any workload stemming from adding Estacada to its coverage area.

The Sandy Police Department has 14 patrol officers and 15 vehicles that can be used for that purpose, Yamashita said. Officers assigned to Estacada would only leave the city to transport suspects to jail or to respond to calls for backup.

Two officers would be dedicated to Estacada, she said, and the council could be involved in the selection process to ensure a good fit for the community. Officers would work four 10-hour shifts that could occasionally overlap.

“That gives us a lot of flexibility,” Yamashita said.

Yamashita said Sandy officers are “very supportive” of the proposal.

“They’re hoping it works,” she said.

The transition between service agencies should be “seamless,” Yamashita said.

Sandy is going through the state accreditation process, and has an 8,465-square foot, two-story station that opened about a year ago.

“We’re state of the art on everything,” Yamashita said.

Yamashita invited council members to tour the station and do ride-alongs with Sandy officers. Drinkwine and Councilor Michele Conditt expressed interest in doing so.

Conditt said she would like to see the anticipated costs for crime prevention programs and adding a school resource officer. Yamashita said a resource officer is in place at Sandy’s new high school.

“We could certainly do something like that out here as well,” she said.

Dodrill said councilors will discuss the matter with Elliott when he returns to work, and that citizen input may be part of the process. He said, however, that changes to the city’s public safety contract would have to happen fairly quickly. Yamashita agreed.

“We have a lot to do if we’re going to pull the trigger,” Yamashita said.




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  • 21 Dec 2014

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