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City leaders feel shock, relief

Quote by Sandy city manager puts Estacada council on edge regarding police coverage


The Sandy City Council voted to approve the contract to provide law enforcement services to the city of Estacada during its meeting on Monday, July 1.

But comments made by departing Sandy City Manager Scott Lazenby during that meeting caused quite a stir with Estacada city leaders.

“We will not be the police department for Estacada. Residents of Estacada receive a base level of enforcement from the county sheriff. (Sandy) will be providing supplemental patrols during dedicated hours to supplement the base level of county service,” Lazenby was quoted in an article that ran in the Sandy Post and Estacada News.

Estacada City Councilor Curt Steininger expressed concern over the quote.

“They (will be) our primary law enforcement,” he said. “As far as we’re concerned in Estacada, Sandy (will be) our primary law enforcement.”

Estacada City Manager Bill Elliott also was troubled by the quote.

“It doesn’t read like we all understood it,” he said.

Elliott reached out to Sandy Police Chief Kim Yamashita for clarification.

“We are going to be providing the same contract services that the county provided for Estacada. Off hours police coverage, as it has been, will be provided by the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, per their letter, that service will include life safety services,” Yamashita responded to Elliott in an email.

“I’m pretty sure everything washes out the way we all understood it... When the Sandy police are in town they are our police and have full authority,” Elliott said later.

He noted that confusion comes in when the Sandy officers go off duty. The sheriff’s office will respond to after hours calls in Estacada, but only in life and death situations.

After hours, Sandy police will respond only to “life safety” issues.

“(Sandy is) not going to routinely respond after hours. But that’s how we’ve always understood it,” Elliott said.

When reached for comment, Lazenby attributed the confusion over his statement to “semantic issues.”

“It’s the same agreement we’ve been talking about. Of course when our officers are there they will be the police force for Estacada,” he said.

Lazenby, who has served as Sandy’s city manager for 21 years, was recently selected to become the city manager for Lake Oswego.

He will leave his post in Sandy in August.

Lazenby reiterated that as Estacadans pay higher property taxes, they are entitled to some coverage by the sheriff’s office.

He added that the Sandy police candidates for Estacada posts are “very eager to be the police force for Estacada.”

Lazenby and Yamashita noted that the Sandy officers serving Estacada will wear uniforms and drive cars that indicate their Estacada post.

“We will consider ourselves to be the main law enforcement agency of Estacada and provide the best level of service possible to the citizens of your community,” Yamashita promised in an email to Elliott.

Since 1978, Estacada has traditionally contracted with the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office for police services.

In May, the Estacada City Council voted to contract with the Sandy Police Department instead.

The Sandy Council approved the agreement during its July 1 meeting.

Sandy police are set to take over law enforcement services in Estacada on Sept. 1.

“I can assure you the guys that are coming there are really excited and consider Estacada their department and their city,” Yamashita said in a later interview.

In June, a panel including Elliott, Estacada Mayor Brent Dodrill, city council members, and Paul Strobel of State Farm Insurance interviewed three Sandy police officers hoping to serve Estacada.

The panel recommended officers Sam Craven and Bill Wetherbee.

Yamashita confirmed that Craven and Wetherbee have been selected to cover Estacada.

Both volunteered for the post.



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