Weston City Council to vote on local law enforcement district

The proposed district would cover the same area as the East Umatilla Fire District and eventually have four full-time officers.

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WESTON -- A proposed law enforcement district would provide stable, effective, affordable policing under local control, according to proponents of the plan.

Weston City Council will vote tonight whether to support a local law enforcement district that would encompass the same boundaries as East Umatilla Rural Fire District.

The district would be funded by a permanent tax rate of $2.50 per thousand. Weston residents would not see a tax increase for the district as the cost of their municipal police department is greater than $2.50 per thousand.

Other communities affected by the district are Adams and Tollgate.

The proposal would be on the ballot in November.

Gary Betts, one of the supporters of the measure, said he was compelled to support the measure after his elderly neighbors were beaten and robbed. One of the men eventually died as a result of his injuries, Betts said.

With sparse police coverage, burglars and other law-breakers have little fear of being caught, Betts said. If they knew law enforcement offers are 10 minutes or less away, they would take their activities elsewhere, Betts said.

Plans call for two full-time officers in the first year, three full-time officers the second year and full staffing with four full-time officers the third year.

Betts will attend both the Weston and Adams city council meetings tonight.

Carrie Chicken can be reached at cec@innw.net or 522-5289.

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