County approves new Coupeville marshal contract

Island County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Rick Norrie speaks during a recent public meeting. He is Coupeville’s new marshal. - Justin Burnett / The Record
Island County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Rick Norrie speaks during a recent public meeting. He is Coupeville’s new marshal.
— image credit: Justin Burnett / The Record

There’s a new sheriff in town.

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

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

Norrie replaces Lance Davenport, who chose to leave the position because union rules would prevent him from keeping the marshal’s position with the sheriff’s department. The marshal’s office has struggled with the ability to staff patrols because of repeated turn overs.

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

Under the proposed contract, the sheriff’s office will provide the town with two dedicated employees, Norrie and one deputy who will ear 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’s deputies will patrol and answer calls when marshals are not on duty.

“It’s a win for the county and the city 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.”

Island County 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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