Back in August, we spoke with people in the city of Elgin, where some residents were calling for the local police force to be disbanded after a fatal officer-involved shooting. Their idea was to do what several other small towns have done and contract with the local county for their law enforcement needs. Since then, the Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police came to Elgin to conduct a review of the police department and its policies. The association also held a public forum as part of their review. Many residents came and expressed frustration with their local police officers.
The association’s report did not paint the Elgin police department in the most favorable light. After it was released, the chief and the one remaining officer resigned. While it appears that city officials have every intention of hiring new police officers and sticking with local law enforcement, they are currently dependent on the Union County sheriff’s office to respond when a resident calls 911 to report a crime.
Do you live in Elgin? Did you participate in the public meeting with the Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police? How does law enforcement work where you live?
- Bill Rautenstrauch: Reporter for The La Grande Observer
- Rick Lewis: Chief of police in Silverton and a member of the Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police
- Jim Hough: City Manager for the city of Banks