Local cities could consolidate police as a new entity if bill is passed

Consolidating local police departments could become easier if a bill proposed in the Washington Legislature is passed.

All four local Representatives in the 19th and 24th Legislative Districts (Brian Blake, Jim Walsh, Steve Tharinger, and Mike Chapman) have co-sponsored House Bill 2552. The bill, introduced this week in Olympia, would establish a framework on the “creation, management, and dissolution of municipal police districts”.

Blake told KXRO that he worked with Aberdeen Mayor Erik Larson on the bill,

 

According to the bill, “municipal police departments represent the largest general fund expense for most municipalities”

Similar to Regional Fire Authorities, the municipal police districts could include 2 or more “contiguous cities or towns” could join together.

Each town would have representation in a new planning commitee, featuring an elected official and the chief of police, while a Chief of the entire district would be selected by the board.

Blake added that his hope is that the bill could see movement this year;

 

Mayor Larson spoke on the bill at his Wednesday City Council meeting, saying he also looks forward to passage, but is not as hopeful this session.

 

Forming the district would require approval from local voters.

 

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