Rainier will rely on deputies

Staff writerMarch 11, 2013 

The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office has drawn up a six-year contract that would provide law enforcement coverage to the City of Rainier.

The city cut its nine-year contract with the Tenino Police Department last week, according to The Chronicle of Centralia. The contract with Tenino is expected to end in June.

The county’s new six-year contract would cost the city $219,000 per year, paying for the hire of two additional deputies to cover the increased workload, according to Sheriff’s Lt. Greg Elwin.

“We will provide call responses for service, investigative support for cases that need to go to detectives and we will do proactive law enforcement in their city the same as we would do in the rest of the district,” Elwin said. “We will also provide help for school zone enforcement and things that really focus on citizen and public safety.”

The Sheriff’s Office also would assist during special events and parades and offer support for the city’s code-enforcement officers.

Elwin said the contract has been written up, but was not official as of Saturday.

Rainier’s contract with the Tenino Police Department cost approximately $215,000 per year, providing 40 hours of coverage each week.

Talks of terminating the Tenino contract began in late 2011 when the City of Tenino looked to disband the department. Concerns grew after two police chiefs were fired and several officers left the department.

Rainier Mayor Randy Schleis has said the city’s frustration is toward Tenino’s administration, not the police department.

“We have no problems with the police department,” Schleis told the Chronicle. “If the city council could get along with the mayor and not make us feel like we’re being jerked around, maybe we could have found a way to sit down and work it out.”

The Chronicle (Centralia) contributed to this report.

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