Special Grand Coulee meeting called to confirm new chief


Last updated 3/26/2024 at 4:23pm

The Grand Coulee City Council will convene for a special meeting Tuesday, March 26 at 6 p.m., the city clerk announced Monday.

The council is expected to confirm a police chief candidate, a key move in a hiring process that has garnered criticism from Grand Coulee Police Department rank and file, and at least one Grand Coulee council member.

Mayor Mike Eylar had originally declined to hire any of the candidates from the pool of five applicants, after interviewing the top three selected by the city’s volunteer Civil Service Commission.

Since last week’s council meeting, GCPD Officer Levi Johnson, the only internal candidate for chief, announced on social media he will be taking an “open-ended, extended leave of absence” from the department.

“In the wake of my son’s untimely death, the questionable ethics and lack of transparency of the new city administration was too much to bear,” Johnson wrote on his page, which was shared in a Coulee-area community announcement page by fellow officer Colin Hopper.

Johnson’s 16-year-old son Jett was killed in a car accident on Highway 155 near Blue Lake last month.

Remaining candidates for chief are Don Redfield of Colville Tribal Police, who is also an Electric City council member, and Patrick Canady, an officer with Ephrata Police Department.

Action related to the Spokane Way improvements project will also receive time on the council’s Tuesday agenda.

The meeting is open to the public at city hall but will not be streamed online.


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