Granite Falls to keep its top cop

GRANITE FALLS — Police Chief Dennis Taylor will stay with the city.

The Granite Falls City Council voted 5-0 Wednesday night to approve a five-year contract making Taylor the city’s top cop.

“Everything’s good,” Taylor said after the vote. “I couldn’t be prouder. I couldn’t be more honored.”

Taylor was a Snohomish County sheriff’s sergeant when he was asked to lead the Granite Falls Police Department in September. He replaced former Police Chief Tony Domish, who resigned after reaching a settlement with the city after Domish and Mayor Haroon Saleem accused each other of misconduct.

Taylor said he had discussed the possibility of a full-service contract with the sheriff’s office but the city wanted to maintain its own police department.

On April 1, Taylor submitted a letter resigning from the sheriff’s office effective April 15. Saleem asked to cancel the city’s contract for services the same day. That contract was canceled quickly and Saleem met with the city’s attorney Tuesday to work on a contract to employ Taylor.

“We went through this contract pretty much at the speed of lightning.” Saleem said. “(Taylor) was on board, the city attorney had a chance to review it, he liked it and we pretty much hammered out all the differences.”

City Council members were asked to approve one of two contracts at Wednesday’s regular council meeting. The contracts were similar, except one was for an indefinite period of time and the other for five years.

Saleem and Taylor told council members they did not have any problems with either contract.

Under the five-year contract approved by the council, Taylor will report directly to Saleem and under his general direction manage, administer and direct the police department’s functions and operations. For April through December, Taylor will receive an annual salary of $86,000.

According to the agreement, Taylor will also receive vacation and sick leave, 12 paid holidays, a cellphone and use of a police department vehicle. The city agreed to also pay insurance premiums for Taylor and his family and provide a $1,600 uniform and accessory allowance during his first year of employment.

City Council members, residents and Granite Falls police officers and department staff gave Taylor a standing ovation after the vote.

“I like this contract,” Councilwoman Elizabeth Adams said. “I think Chief Taylor is going to make a fantastic permanent addition to our police department.”

Taylor is scheduled to be officially sworn in as the city’s police chief during the April 20 council meeting.

Amy Daybert: 425-339-3491; adaybert@heraldnet.com.

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