City of Brier fills 2024 police staffing gaps with new SnoCo Sheriff’s Office agreement

Brier Mayor Dale Kaemingk

The City of Brier’s newly amended interlocal agreement with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) – approved by the Snohomish County Council earlier this month –  closes gaps in staffing coverage for the Brier Police Department.

This amendment comes after staffing and management decisions led to the retirement of the Brier Police Department’s chief and the resignation of its lieutenant in September 2023. MLTnews reported in early January on former Brier Police Chief Nick Almquist’s decision to mislead the city about arranging for vacation coverage in our investigative reports here and here.

This agreement is not a long-term solution, however, and the Brier City Council is looking for ways to bolster the city’s police force. During the Jan. 23 Brier City Council meeting, Councilmember Valerie Rosman and Mayor Dale Kaemingk presented a list of priorities to the city council, and improving resources for hiring new police officers was one of them.

During the meeting, Councilmember David Marley said that the council’s priorities around law enforcement should make the job more attractive by promoting job satisfaction rather than money.

However, Brier is one of many cities across Washington state trying to figure out ways to stand out in a highly competitive job market. According to an April 2023 survey by the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), agencies are losing officers faster than they can hire them.

Under the amended interlocal agreement, the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office will provide proactive policing from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. and reactive coverage, such as 911 calls, from 2 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday to Tuesday.

During proactive periods, Sunday through Tuesday, from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. SCSO will provide one deputy sheriff to patrol within the city. The deputy sheriff will handle all levels of 911 calls for service during this time. 

Proactive patrols are billed at an hourly overtime rate of $140.90 from Jan. 1, 2024, to March 31, 2024.

During reactive patrols, SCSO will respond to priority-one, -two and -three calls on a call-for-service basis, defined as a dispatch from Snohomish County 911, Sunday through Tuesday, between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. 

The city will pay a fee for individual call-to-service requests when a deputy is not already on duty. The fee per call is $92.95 an hour, billed retroactively from Jan. 1, 2024 through March 31, 2024.

The contract states that the rates and fees for proactive and reactive patrol services after April 1, 2024, will be set by SCSO based on the hourly overtime costs. SCSO will provide the City of Brier with written notice of any new rate and fee no less than 30 days before the new rates and fees take effect.

SCSO will also provide “Special Services” that may include but are not limited to K-9 patrol, hostage negotiations, SWAT, dive team and bomb disposal. 

These services will be provided at an hourly fee and billed as a separate line item to the monthly invoice sent to the city.

However, there are some limits to the contract. SCSO will not provide any support services to the city, such as planning and research, subpoena control, training, accounting, payroll, personnel, labor relations, media relations, fleet management, radio maintenance, purchasing, records, internal investigations, evidence management or contract administration.

The interlocal agreement between the City of Brier and SCSO is valid until Dec. 31, 2024. 

— By Rick Sinnett


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