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USBR contracts with Grand Coulee police

Coulee Dam department not renewed


Last updated 9/18/2013 at 10:30am

The city of Grand Coulee approved its latest law enforcement contract with the Bureau of Reclamation at a special meeting of the council last week, while another local police department didn’t get a similar extension of the program.

The new contract with Grand Coulee -- for one year with extensions possible for two more years -- was essentially the same as the bureau’s just-lapsed contract with the city.

Police Chief Mel Hunt said his department is one officer short, and the city’s civil service board has just advertised to fill the position.

Coulee Dam, which also bid to extend its contract, wasn’t so fortunate. It didn’t get a piece of the law enforcement pie.

Coulee Dam Police Chief Pat Collins said that he will have to lay off two officers by Oct. 1. His department is already two officers short.

The contract, essentially a half-million dollars a year, accounts for four officers, their training and equipment.

Collins said that in addition to letting two officers go, their patrol cars will be declared surplus.

The Coulee Dam Town Council has yet to meet on the contract cancellation.

Collins said Monday that he wasn’t notified of the Bureau’s decision not to renew its contract with Coulee Dam and had to call them to find out. Grand Coulee was notified on Monday of last week.

The contracts that the Bureau of Reclamation had with the two municipalities ran out June 30, 2013, and had to be extended in 30-day periods while decisions were being made at Bureau offices in Boise.


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