Snohomish police will become part of county sheriff’s office

SNOHOMISH — The city’s police department will be absorbed into the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office.

City Council members Tuesday night voted 4-3 to contract for police services during the next five years.

The move is expected to save $2 million over time, Snohomish Mayor Karen Guzak said.

The contract must be approved by county government. It is slated to go into effect Jan. 1.

Snohomish now has 18 commissioned police officers, city Manager Larry Bauman said.

The contract specifies that the size of the department will remain the same.

Most, if not all, of the officers now working in Snohomish are expected to get hired on as sheriff’s deputies, but they first must meet county hiring standards for law enforcement. Some appointments may be provisional while that takes place.

The background checks already are starting, Bauman said Wednesday.

The department will, however, lose some civilian positions, including that of Police Chief John Turner. Turner has already retired before and is no longer a commissioned police officer.

It will be a sad change, Guzak said.

Turner has made enormous contributions to Snohomish, she said.

“He has won the trust, and the respect, and the love, really, of this community,” she said.

The future of policing in Snohomish has been hotly debated for the past six months. Some in town were vehemently opposed to the contract. The arguments created rifts both in the community and at City Hall.

City leaders now hope Snohomish can move forward, Bauman said.

Once people see how the contract works, they will feel more comfortable, Bauman said.

“I think it’s divided our community in some ways, which is really unfortunate, but I think those wounds will heal over time,” he said.

The contract will provide cost stability, Guzak said. The expenses of running a city law enforcement agency were unpredictable, but the contract sets a price for the next five years.

The city has let go of several officers since 2008, and she was worried they would lose more.

“We felt we couldn’t go any further with that,” she said.

Snohomish now must choose a new police chief. Most cities that contract with the sheriff’s office have a local chief who runs day-to-day operations.

There are five candidates for the job: Snohomish police Cmdr. Fred Havener and sheriff’s lieutenants Jeff Brand, John Flood, Kathi Lang and Rob Palmer.

At least two chief interview panels are planned, in addition to a community open house. People will be able to meet the candidates, learn about their backgrounds and find out why they’re interested in the Snohomish job, Bauman said.

“We really want to be able to allow the community to be part of this process,” he said.

Bauman must recommend a chief to the council by Dec. 6. He hopes to forward a final recommendation to Sheriff John Lovick on Dec. 7.

Lovick will make the final decision.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449;

Open house

A community open house for people to meet Snohomish police chief candidates is scheduled for 7 p.m. Nov. 21 at the Snohomish Senior Center.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Kevin Duncan puts his ballot in the ballot drop box outside of the Arlington Library on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020 in Arlington, Wash. The Arlington school District has three measures on the February ballot, including one to replace Post Middle School. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
High court: State must pay for some, not all, ballot boxes

Snohomish County sued to recoup the cost of adding 21 ballot drop boxes to comply with a 2017 law.

Les Parks, left, talks with his daughter, Kenzi Parks, after a laser etched drum finished printing Tuesday afternoon at his home in Tulalip, Washington on January 25, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
After 1,200 positive cases, Tulalip Tribes face ‘deepest fear’

“We used to be big on family doings — not anymore.” On top of a cultural toll, the pandemic has exposed health inequities.

Stevens Pass on Dec. 30, 2021.  (Kevin Clark / Herald file)
Amid rocky ski season with 300 complaints, Stevens Pass offers deal

Vail Resorts said returning customers can get discounts for 2022-23 if they renew their passes by May 30.

A car drives by Everett Station where Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin's proposal for its ARPA funds includes funding a child care center at station. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald) 20211118
Council approves lease for Bezos Academy at Everett Station

The preschool will be tuition-free. “I just know how darned important it is,” Councilmember Liz Vogeli said.

‘Armed and dangerous’ carjacking suspect last seen in Edmonds

A man in a stolen truck led troopers on a chase. He crashed, assaulted another driver and took that car.

Sen. Ron Muzzall, R-Oak Harbor, left, speaks on the floor of the Senate, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash., during debate on a measure that would delay implementation of a long-term care program and the payroll tax that pays for it. The Senate passed the measure, which was passed by the House last week, and Gov. Jay Inslee is expected to sign the measure on Friday. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Delay of Washington’s long-term-care program signed into law

The bill addresses concerns about the program’s solvency and criticism about elements of the underlying law.

Police: Marysville Pilchuck student arrested for wielding knife

Neither of the students involved in the Wednesday morning fight was injured, police reported.

Police looking for Mukilteo bank robber, seeking tips

The man appeared to be in his late 20s or early 30s, white, slender, about 5-foot-8, with dark blond hair.

Registered nurse Estella Wilmarth tends to a patient in the acute care unit of Harborview Medical Center, Friday, Jan. 14, 2022, in Seattle. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is deploying 100 members of the state National Guard to hospitals across the state amid staff shortages due to an omicron-fueled spike in COVID-19 hospitalizations. Inslee announced Thursday that teams will be deployed to assist four overcrowded emergency departments at hospitals in Everett, Yakima, Wenatchee and Spokane, and that testing teams will be based at hospitals in Olympia, Richland, Seattle and Tacoma. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Past the omicron peak? Snohomish County’s COVID cases declining

Hospitalizations are still a concern, however, and infections in Eastern Washington and Idaho could have ripple effects here.

Most Read