Snohomish safety group forming

SNOHOMISH — The Snohomish community soon will have a new public safety supergroup.

City leaders are finalizing the formation of a seven-member Public Safety Commission, City Manager Larry Bauman said. The group will advise City Council members and Police Chief John Flood on safety-related topics.

The group’s mission combines elements from the former police civil service commission and the liquor advisory committee, Bauman said. Members also are expected to include people from the local fire district and Block Watch program.

“It’s becoming something more than simply just a city- oriented public safety commission,” Bauman said. “It’s a broader community approach.”

The group is working on a meeting schedule, Flood said.

The city’s former police civil service commission went away when Snohomish contracted for police services with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office. The sheriff’s office now handles hiring and other police personnel issues.

The liquor advisory committee was formed a few years ago, when Snohomish’s nightlife got a rowdy reputation for overservice and violence.

The Public Safety Commission also will review some liquor license applications, such as renewal requests from businesses with a history of liquor violations, Bauman said. The group then could ask the police chief to provide the city’s viewpoint on the application to the state Liquor Control Board, which would make the final determination.

The Public Safety Commission also will help coordinate community outreach programs and emergency preparedness efforts, Bauman said.

Snohomish County Fire District 4, which serves Snohomish and surrounding areas, became involved with the idea of the new group early on, Bauman said. The Public Safety Commission is expected to work on fire-safety and public education initiatives.

Public Safety Commission members are appointed by the mayor, and appointments are subject to City Council approval. The group is not paid.

City Council members can ask the commission to research specific topics, or the group may develop its own areas of interest, Bauman said.

They have not yet set any topics of discussion. The group is expected to elect a chair and vice chair at its first meeting.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

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