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Former deputy joins Langley police force

Michael Beech swears in as an officer of the Langley Police Department during a city council meeting Aug. 18. He joins the city after two decades as an Island County Sheriff’s Office deputy.  - Ben Watanabe / The Record
Michael Beech swears in as an officer of the Langley Police Department during a city council meeting Aug. 18. He joins the city after two decades as an Island County Sheriff’s Office deputy.
— image credit: Ben Watanabe / The Record

Michael Beech was officially sworn in as a Langley police officer Monday night.

After two decades with the Island County Sheriff’s Office, four years serving in the United States Marine Corps and a handful of months as a reserve officer in Langley, he will wear the black-and-blue of the Langley Police Department.

His hiring restores the city’s police force to three officers and a chief, the first time in months the department’s been a it’s full staffing level.

“Mike, we’re deeply honored to have a man of your expertise on the force,” said Mayor Fred McCarthy, adding that the city now has the right personnel in its police department.

Langley is preparing for a court fight against a former officer who was let go earlier this year. Mitch Hardin alleged that he was fired for not complying with Chief Dave Marks on union negotiations. McCarthy defended the city’s decision in a prepared statement last month, saying that new officers are given a one-year probationary period to make sure they are a good fit, and that Hardin was not.

Beech has already seen plenty of time in Langley. He worked during the funeral procession for Paul Schell on Aug. 14, the Whidbey Island Triathlon on Saturday and during the Soup Box Derby on Sunday.

“I really enjoyed walking around town, being out of the car, meeting people,” Beech said.

Part of his duties will include being the city’s representative on the Island County emergency management team. Marks also said Beech has advised him on implementing a bike patrol program, and that the police will purchase a pair of mountain bikes for $800 to use around town instead of squad cars.

 

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