Napavine opts out of police cooperative

Town Crier

The City of Napavine has opted out of efforts to create a Joint Police Agency with Winlock, Toledo and Vader, with officials stating they do not see the benefit to their city at this time.

In a letter sent to the other cities May 9, Napavine Mayor John Sayers stated his officials were no longer interested in exploring a cooperative, which would combine law enforcement personnel and resources of the four cities involved.

The idea of a cooperative had been pitched by Vader Mayor Ken Smith in December as Vader continues searching for cost-effective law enforcement options after the resignation of their police chief in 2011. Though Sayers has said he personally supports Vader and would like to help in any way he can, Napavine officials as a whole feel a cooperative would not result in cost savings for their city and said they would like to retain the current level of continuity provided by their police force.

Sayers’ letter added Napavine would be willing to reconsider their position if an anticipated study by Seattle University found there would be a benefit to joining a cooperative. The study is expected to be conducted among the cities in South Lewis County under the guidance of Scott Sotebeer, former civilian chief of staff for the King County Sheriff’s Office, and should last 12 to 14 months if grant funding for the study is approved in June.