County Considers Law Enforcement Contract With Depoe Bay
The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners heard from Sheriff Landers about an agreement proposed between the Sheriff's Office and the city of Depoe Bay for law enforcement services. Last year the Depoe Bay council voted down the proposal to pay for law enforcement services, however after being approached by several concerned citizens the city voted to approve a contract with the Sheriff's Office. The contract would be for 40 hours of service. In August Sheriff Landers met with the Depoe Bay council to present the contract, which is very similar to the agreement with Waldport.
The agreed upon cost for the year of service would be $176,555 that would be paid in November 2022. Services would begin on or about April of 2023, giving the Sheriff's office time needed to hire and train a deputy. There is not cost to the county general fund to add the patrol deputy according to Sheriff Landers. He went on to say that his office has been doing an excellent job in hiring and recruiting officers that are already trained from other areas or transferring to the Sheriff's Office from local law enforcement. There are currently 4 new hires at the academy now completing their training, and another starting with the academy in October. The goal is to have all of their positions filled, including the Depoe Bay position by April 2023.
Depoe Bay Mayor Short explained that Depoe Bay wants to do what they can to protect their citizens. They have seen an increase in car and home break-ins recently and they are looking forward to working with the Sheriff's Office to try to resolve public safety issues. Commissioner Hunt asked how this contract with another city affect service to the rest of the county. Landers explained that they have to fulfil their obligations to the cities with law enforcement contracts and hiring shortages have left fewer deputies to cover the rest of the county. With increased hiring recently he hopes to fill those gaps.
Commissioner Jacobson expressed concern about cut backs to county services and then taking on another contract service. Landers said they are looking at seeing if some of the services could be fulfilled by non certified community service personnel that could help with costs and focus deputies efforts. They are analyzing the most efficient way to provide the needed services to citizens. Overall commissioners were supportive of the contract to help support the city of Depoe Bay. This was a discussion item and will come back next week before the commissioners for their possible approval.