Police Chief Pat Collins made a little headway in his efforts to retain at least one of his patrolmen after the town of Coulee Dam was axed from its contract for law enforcement coverage with the Bureau of Reclamation.
The contract, which affords the town four additional patrol officers, their patrol cars, training and equipment, was up Oct. 1. The town was already short two officers, and the contract’s end means the loss of two more.
“I don’t know how I can provide coverage with only three officers,” Collins told the council last Wednesday night. That’s all that is left after the contract breakdown.
The council agreed, but took a hard look at how it would pay for additional coverage.
The council agreed to fund one more officer through Oct. 25, at an estimated cost of $6,000 to $7,000. This would give the town an opportunity to come up with a budget plan to extend it beyond that date.
Not only will the town lose officers, but Collins said at least three patrol cars will be declared surplus.
Immediately, Councilmember Ben Alling, who has ties with the town’s fire department, asked if they could have the money from the cars.
That brought a chuckle from Collins.
The council took a look at the $6,000 to $7,000 Collins said the patrol cars would bring, and said that was about the amount an officer would cost for another month.
Collins’ main concern was about police protection and coverage in the town. It would be difficult to provide 24/7 coverage with only three officers, he stated.