Winthrop will be able to buy two new police vehicles, rather than used ones, to replace the aging, unreliable SUVs the department now has, Marshal Rikki Schwab told the town council Wednesday (June 18).

Schwab said she had done more research into the kinds of vehicles available, and found more money in her current budget, to recommend purchasing two new four-wheel-drive, crew cab pickup trucks. After transferring equipment from the existing police vehicles to the new ones, the town will still have money left over to begin building a fund to purchase a third vehicle, Schwab said.

The council also learned Wednesday that Deputy Marshal Ken Bajema has decided to leave the department, meaning that Schwab has two vacant positions to fill. She said the openings have drawn an impressive field of applicants.

Bajema and reserve deputy Bryan Alexander received commendations Wednesday for what Schwab called their extraordinary efforts to provide effective policing in Winthrop while the department was down to one officer. Bajema also received a lifesaving award for actions he took to prevent a teenager from attempting suicide.

For more details, see the June 25 issue of the Methow Valley News.