Monmouth looks at use-of-force policy

Updated wording to come back to council Oct. 17

MONMOUTH -- A proposal to update a Polk County plan for procedures involving the use of deadly physical force by law enforcement officers was tabled at Tuesday's Monmouth City Council meeting.

State law requires that each Oregon county form a planning authority for guidelines regarding deadly physical force by law enforcement officers throughout the county. The Polk County Planning Authority recently adopted minor updates to its plan, which was originally adopted in 2008.

Once a city in the county approves an update proposal, the proposal is forwarded to the state attorney general for final review and approval. Police Chief Darrell Tallan said city staff recommended approval.

Councilor Jon Carey noted that the plan calls for elected officials to review it. He said that he had not read it and urged that it be tabled until all council members had read it. The council will take up the issue Oct. 17.

Also tabled was a Building Department proposal for a 10 percent fee increase for all statewide specialty codes that the city administers. Building Official Larry Thornton said the increase was needed to maintain the viability of the department and adjust for increasing costs. He said such an increase would generate about $15,000 a year. Thornton also recommended that the council hold a hearing in the second week of November for all increases to take effect Jan. 1, 2018.

Councilor Laurel Sharmer, noting what she called "a scathing personal attack" a city department head made on her on Facebook, called it libelous and urged that City Manager Scott McClure take disciplinary action against the department head.

In a council work session that followed the meeting, members of the Tree Advisory Board discussed planting one or more trees on the Monmouth Elementary School campus honoring certain people in the community who died prematurely. Also at the session, Mark Medel, new chair of the Parks and Recreation Board, reported board approval of grants from the previous year.

Future growth of Monmouth was discussed at the session. Mayor Steve Milligan noted that there will be a town hall meeting at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 19 in the Monmouth Library. Carey expressed concern that Monmouth has several marijuana stores but no supermarket.


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