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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Officers settle suit over on-call policy

From staff reports

Two former Odessa, Wash., police officers have won a $70,000 wage settlement from the town because of a policy they said confined them much like electronic home monitoring.

Kelly Watkins, now a Lincoln County sheriff’s deputy, and Lyle Hendrickson, a sheriff’s dispatcher, sued the town in February 2001 over its requirement that officers remain available during their off-duty hours.

The officers couldn’t go to movies, go on camping trips or attend their children’s out-of-town sporting events because of Odessa’s isolation in the southwest corner of Lincoln County and its spotty cellular telephone service, according to their Spokane attorney, Michael Kinkley.

Under the settlement, approved recently by the Town Council, Watkins is to receive $40,000; Hendrickson, $30,000.

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