Clallam to continue providing deputy to Forks

Contract includes wages, mileage and maintenance reimbursement

PORT ANGELES — The Clallam County Sheriff’s Office will provide one or more deputies to the Forks Police Department, according to an agreement reviewed by the commissioners.

The three commissioners will formalize the contract during their regular meeting, set for 10 a.m. Tuesday in the commissioners’ meeting room at the Clallam County Courthouse, 223 E. Fourth St. in Port Angeles.

Chief Criminal Deputy Amy Bundy told the commissioners during their Monday work session that it’s a contract update with the Forks Police Department.

”Due to their staffing challenges, we have been helping out quite a bit.

“I have heard that they have one, maybe two, entry levels that they are bringing on board,” she said. “But that’s going to be a year out for training. So we’ve been helping out quite a bit and the contract hadn’t been updated for several years.”

Mike Rowley took over as Forks police chief in October 2017. Since November 2023, he has been the only uniformed law enforcement officer in a city that usually has five.

Bundy said the contract already has been approved through the proper legal channels.

”The rates have been increased to reflect some additional fees as well,” she said. “We had a previous agreement that didn’t include mileage. And it was a fixed-rate.”

“I know staffing is a real issue out there, providing that service, and I’m glad that we all worked together,” Commissioner Mike French said. “And I think this is an example of that working together.”

A staff memo to the commissioners read, “While the extent of service needed within a year cannot be predicted, revenue received from this agreement will be used to supplement the patrol overtime and mileage lines as needed.”

The contract doesn’t specify the number of deputies nor the duration, but it set wages of $54 per hour when the deputy is working during regular county work hours and $70 per hour outside of those hours. It also includes $1.25 per mile fuel and maintenance reimbursement, which the previous agreement did not. Those wage and mileage rates will be reviewed annually.

Sheriff Brian King wrote in a Tuesday email that 2016 was the first year the county contracted with Forks.

“It’s an as needed contract so (Police Chief Mike Rowley) will call us with a request for additional services,” King wrote. “It typically occurs when Mike is unavailable (needs a vacation) or there is a request for additional law enforcement services.”

The City of Forks will commission the deputy or deputies as a Forks police officer so he or she may enforce state and local laws as well as city ordinances.

The deputy will drive a county vehicle and wear a county uniform while providing law enforcement within the Forks city limit. The deputy also will be supervised by the county sheriff’s office.

The deputy may respond outside the city to assist another law enforcement agencies in emergency situations, after notifying his or her patrol supervisor.

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Reporter Brian Gawley can be reached by email at brian.gawley@peninsuladailynews.com.

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