Vancouver police chief Department cant rely on grants

first_imgMore than 20 police positions paid for by state and federal grants are set to expire by the middle of next year, and Vancouver’s police chief said Monday that the department must wean itself off that money to prop up its staffing levels.As politicians in Olympia and Washington, D.C., continue to slash budgets, Police Chief Cliff Cook told the city council that Vancouver can’t continue to rely on grant money to support units that include school resource officers, and auto theft and gang-fighting detectives.Vancouver has about $1.8 million in grants and contracts that pay for 23 positions. But the amount of grants is shrinking — and Cook said he thinks it won’t be going up anytime soon.“We can’t rely on grants,” he said. “They’ve been great for us, they’ve helped us bridge some gaps, but we’ve got to find another way.”Cook said the department can reapply for several of the grants, but those dollars are far from guaranteed. Over the next few years, he said council members are going to have to decide just what they expect from the police department.last_img read more

Republican senators request local party suggestion to fill vacancy

first_imgMat-Su Borough Assembly member Randall Kowalke is pictured in the assembly portrait. Gov. Bill Walker named him to the vacant state Senate seat vacated by Mike Dunleavy, but Senate Republicans want someone suggested by local Republicans. (Photo courtesy of Matanuska-Susitna Borough)The Republican members of the state Senate said Tuesday they want Gov. Bill Walker to ask Senate District E Republicans for more suggestions on who should replace Mike Dunleavy if he won’t pick one of the existing three nominees.Listen nowSenate President Pete Kelly and Majority Leader Peter Micciche said in a letter to Walker that it would unfair to either confirm or reject Walker’s appointment of Randall Kowalke to replace Dunleavy.Walker responded in a letter by saying he has no intention of delaying the process by requesting more names while Kowalke’s appointment is still pending. Walker, a former Republican turned independent, said members of the Republican-led Senate majority urged Kowalke’s appointment. The governor also said that if the Senate Republicans reject Kowalke, he would forward another name.Walker appointed Kowalke on Friday, instead of one of the district party nominees. They are Rep. George Rauscher, teacher Todd Smoldon and organic food worker Tom Braund.Traditionally, governors have filled vacancies with one of three nominees nominated by district parties. But Walker also didn’t pick one of House District 40 Democrats’ original nominees after Dean Westlake resigned.If the Senate Republicans don’t act on Kowalke, the position will remain vacant.State law gives the governor 30 days to appoint someone to fill a vacancy. The person must be from the same political party as the previous office holder, and the sitting members of the chamber from the same party must approve them.State law doesn’t limit the amount of time Senate Republicans have to confirm Walker’s appointee.last_img read more