May 21, 2009 in Washington Voices

Medical Lake looks to sheriff

Talks on police services will go forward
By The Spokesman-Review
 

The Medical Lake City Council has decided to move forward in negotiations with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office to discuss whether or not the city should contract for police services.

The city has been searching for a police chief for around a year and a half with no success. In March, Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich spoke to the council about what it would mean if the city used his department’s services.

At that meeting, Knezovich said that by state law, he can offer the current police staff the opportunity to stay on as long as they meet the Sheriff’s Office requirements. Residents would also have access to Crime Check and 911, which will most likely have the ability to reach officers at night.

“We want to blend with what you have,” Knezovich told the council at that time.

City administrator Doug Ross stressed that this decision in no way meant the city was ready to sign a contract, but allowed city staff to start negotiations with the sheriff.

“We don’t even have a final dollar amount,” Ross told the council during its meeting Tuesday.

In other council news, Ross told the council that a location has been decided on for the new gazebo in Pioneer Park. It will be placed on the north side of the playground equipment. Ross said Officer Jacob Keith from the Police Department approved the location for visibility.

Ross said construction will begin June 1 and when the gazebo is finished, there are plans to add picnic tables and a barbecue. He hopes the new gazebo will bring more people into the park and discourage any trouble at the skate park in the opposite corner of the park.

The Parks and Recreation department is also considering creating a youth league for sports similar to the adult MAC League, which combines the resources of Medical Lake, Airway Heights and Cheney. Ross told the council to expect some decisions to come their way for approval in the coming months.

The council will also implement its summer schedule in June. It will meet on the third Tuesday of the month in June, July, August and September. The next Medical Lake city council meeting will be held June 16.

Lisa Leinberger can be reached at (509) 459-5449 or at lisal@spokesman.com.


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