County Sheriff's Department to manage Coupeville law enforcement

Sgt. Rick Norrie will serve as Coupeville
Sgt. Rick Norrie will serve as Coupeville's Marshall under the the city's approved contract placing law enforcement under the management of the Island County Sheriff's Department.
— image credit: Justin Burnett/South Whidbey Record

There’s a new sheriff in town.

The Island County commissioners approved a contract Monday empowering the sheriff’s office to run the Coupeville Marshal’s Office.

Sgt. Rick Norrie will step in and function as the new Coupeville Marshal March 1, but under the guidance and budget of the Island County Sheriff’s Office.

Norrie replaces Lance Davenport, who has been town marshal for the last two years. The marshal’s office has struggled with staff turnover during that time.

Under the approved three-year contract, the town will pay roughly $440,000 to the sheriff’s office for in 2015 for law enforcement services. The town currently pays about $450,000.

“I think the contract speaks for itself,” said Sheriff Mark Brown. “It’s been vetted by both the county commissioners and the city.”

“It’s a workable plan and is something we’ll massage along the way,” he added.

Under the proposed contract, the sheriff’s office will provide the town with two dedicated employees, Norrie and one deputy. They will maintain their Coupeville Marshal’s Office uniforms and drive Coupeville patrol cars.

Though the sheriff will wield the ultimate authority, town leadership will continue to direct law enforcement priorities.

Sheriff deputies will patrol and answer calls when deputy marshals are not on duty.

“It’s a win for the county and the town of Coupeville,” said Commissioner Jill Johnson.

“It provides predictable and top-notch coverage. It’s a good example of how we can improve law enforcement without spending additional tax dollars.

The community and the taxpayer are coming out winners on this one.”

Commissioner Helen Price Johnson said the contract is a good way to leverage resources to ensure law enforcement needs are met.

“I commend you both for doing that,” Price Johnson said.


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