Contract talks end, Carnation to seek new police provider

The city of Duvall has ended contract negotiations with Carnation for shared police services between the two cities.

Carnation City Manager Ken Carter confirmed Tuesday, Oct. 1, that the contract, which expires Dec. 31, will not be renegotiated.

Citing an overworked police force and difficulties in recruiting new officers, Duvall Mayor Will Ibershof had recommended to the Duvall City Council at its Sept. 26 meeting to end negotiations. Several council members expressed concern that they hadn’t known earlier about the staffing difficulties, but none opposed ending the negotiations.

Carnation’s City Council met Tuesday, after press time, and police services were originally on the agenda to review the contract under discussion. Instead, Carter said the council would likely discuss other police service options.

Carnation has contracted with Duvall for police services since late 2004. In 2011, the financially struggling city negotiated a new contract for a reduced level of service in 2012 and 2013. In June, Duvall’s council voted to terminate that contract and begin negotiations on a new contract to return to the previous level of service.

Ibershof told the Record Tuesday that while Duvall feels Carnation has been a great partner, the northern city couldn’t commit to a one-year contract due to staffing challenges and a lack of guaranteed funding. The pullback from negotiations was an administrative decision. Ibershof said council and staff wanted to make it work, but couldn’t.

“I can’t in clear conscience sign a new agreement with Carnation,” he said. “We can’t find the bodies to fulfill the decision.”

A long-term funding solution from Carnation might restart things, but there's still the question of finding officers. In a search for new officers this year, he explained, Duvall had difficulty finding enough lateral candidates in a search that spanned the West Coast and as far as Kentucky.


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