By Ann McCreary
Twisp officials have decided to reinstate an agreement that authorizes police officers from Winthrop to enforce laws within Twisp town limits.
With new Marshal Rikki Schwab on the job in Winthrop, Twisp Police Chief Paul Budrow said he was comfortable allowing Schwab or other Winthrop officers to conduct law enforcement in Twisp.
“Having worked with her, I’d go through a door with her,” Budrow told the Twisp Council last week.
“I have no qualms saying they have full reign in our town because I have no concerns about liability [to Twisp],” Budrow told Town Council members at their June 24 meeting.
Under state law, certified law enforcement officers are allowed to enforce laws in another jurisdiction with written consent from the sheriff or police chief of that jurisdiction.
Twisp revoked its written agreement with Winthrop in December 2011 on the recommendation of Budrow and Mayor Soo Ing-Moody, following an investigation into several incidents involving Winthrop police actions in Twisp.
Ing-Moody and Budrow said that what they called “unprofessional” behavior by Winthrop police created potential liability for Twisp and threatened the safety of town police officers and citizens.
Ing-Moody said those incidents led her to question the “judgment” of Winthrop law enforcement officers.
“There is a new marshal, new leadership. I don’t have a concern about judgment,” Ing-Moody told the council last week.
Former Marshal David Dahlstrom resigned in late 2013. Schwab was hired in May as Winthrop marshal.
“I feel we have been working closely together (and) have re-established a good working relationship,” Ing-Moody said.
Schwab is currently Winthrop’s only full-time police officer. The town is in the process of filling two vacancies in the department.
Budrow will sign a letter authorizing Winthrop law enforcement officers to enforce criminal and traffic laws within Twisp town limits.
The agreement means that Winthrop officers can conduct law enforcement activities in Twisp whenever they are within the town limits, Budrow said.
“For example, they can drive through my town and see someone speeding and they can write a ticket,” Budrow said. “If they see a crime happening at Hank’s” they can respond, he said.
Winthrop has maintained its agreement authorizing Twisp officers to enforce laws in Winthrop.
Budrow said both communities have continued to have a mutual aid agreement in place, which means officers respond on request to provide assistance when needed.