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Council faces choice on staying with Clackamas County, or switching to Sandy Police Department

The city of Estacada is inviting the public to provide input on whether the city should renew its contract for law enforcement coverage with the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office or switch to the Sandy Police Department.

“This is a big decision for the city and the council is looking for any input people have on the matter,” City Manager Bill Elliott said.

The council encourages community members to voice opinions about the police contract during the 7 p.m. Monday, April 22, council meeting at City Hall.

Sandy Police Chief Kim Yamashita and Lt. Shane Strangfield of the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office will be in attendance.

The public testimony at the meeting will be taken into account in the City Council’s decision, which is expected by May 13.

In addition to his attendance at the council meeting, Strangfield also will be the guest speaker at the Chamber lunch forum at noon Thursday, April 18, at Hitchin Post Pizza, 458 S.W. Second Ave.

Yamashita was guest speaker at the March 21 Chamber luncheon.

The city’s contract with Clackamas County expires in August, and costs the city $463,596 per year. Under the proposal put forth by the Sandy Police Department, 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 in a previous story appearing the Estacada News, 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.

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