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Coulee Dam police to serve Electric City

 


Electric City citizens will be served by a police department an extra city away next year.

Coulee Dam got the contract for 2016 to provide police services to Electric City, whose city council, with little discussion, agreed June 9 to a five-year contract with Coulee Dam’s police department at $122,223.42 a year.

For decades, Electric City has contracted with Grand Coulee for police services. But that will all end Dec. 31, of this year.

Currently, Electric City pays Grand Coulee $115,000 a year for police services.

Council committees from both Grand Coulee and Electric City have been meeting to try to arrive at some kind of agreement for continuing services.

At Grand Coulee’s last city council meeting, the council passed its proposal for an agreement, asking $150,000 a year, and with the stipulation that Electric City agree to pay 25 percent of upgrades, unexpected expenditures and capital improvement costs.

That didn’t set well with Electric City, and apparently anticipating this the city had asked Coulee Dam to submit a proposal.

This would mean that Coulee Dam will have to add a person to its police department and that Grand Coulee will likely cut its police staff by one officer.

Grand Coulee currently has eight officers, and Coulee Dam has four. The fourth officer was just recently hired and will be going to academy training as soon as he completes his university degree in June.

Coulee Dam Police Chief Pat Collins said Wednesday that he was surprised. He had worked out Coulee Dam’s offer with Mayor Greg Wilder and Town Clerk Stefani Bowden.

Because Grand Coulee is between Coulee Dam and Electric City, Coulee Dam officers may have to respond to calls in a hurry coming through Grand Coulee.

Collins said his department’s policy is that patrol cars are to use their emergency lights and not exceed the legal speed limit by more than 10 mph. He didn’t think going through another department’s jurisdiction would be a problem.

Grand Coulee Police Chief John Tufts commented on the change:

“I was saddened to hear that Electric City could not come to an agreement with Grand Coulee over the police department contract,” he stated. “I have served the city for the past 31 years as an officer, sergeant and chief. I know that during this time the Grand Coulee police department has always strived to provide Electric City with a professional service to its citizens. I know that the council did what they feel was best for the city, but this process will take the citizens time to learn that Grand Coulee will no longer provide police services after Dec. 31, 2015. I would like to wish them well in their future endeavors.”

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