Troutdale police transfer employment with Multnomah County Wednesday

The entire Troutdale police force begins its new employment with Multnomah County on Wednesday.

City councilors in March and county commissioners in April signed off on a 10-year deal for the sheriff’s office to provide law enforcement services in Troutdale. As part of the deal, all existing officers will transfer to the county, and many will receive pay increases to match the wages of their county counterparts.

“They’ll be going into the pay scale based on their years of services, as if they were employed with the sheriff’s office,” Sgt. Mark Herron, president of the Deputy Sheriff’s Association, said Monday.

Troutdale Mayor, Multnomah County Sheriff discuss agreementAfter the Troutdale City Council voted to dissolve the police department, the mayor and the Multnomah County sheriff discuss a new agreement for law enforcement services.

Troutdale officers will give their new oaths of duty to the county during a 6:30 p.m. ceremony Tuesday at the Mt. Hood Community College Visual Arts Theater on Southeast Stark Street in Gresham. Sheriff Dan Staton will give the oath.

Troutdale employs 26 police personnel, including 23 sworn officers and three administrative and support members.

City leaders will pay the county $2.8 million for the full-time equivalent of 16.5 officers, materials and other costs. Another 3.5 positions will be funded through existing contracts with public transit agencies, the Reynolds School District, and a gang enforcement grant.

Six other staff members will fill vacancies specifically left open by the sheriff as part of the deal.

A Troutdale officer earns $62,852 a year compared with $71,729 for a Multnomah County deputy or $80,748 for a Portland officer, according to a presentation in March from city finance director Erich Mueller.

Troutdale officers will not be transferred away from their existing patrol duties for six months, but will have to bid for their shifts beginning Jan. 1, Herron said.

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Deputies bid for shifts — day, evening and late night shifts – instead of geographic locations, Herron said. It’s not guaranteed they’ll continue working within Troutdale limits because decisions are based on seniority, he added.

The sheriff’s office also has a policy of hiring deputies with four-year degrees, but that requirement will be waived for new deputies from Troutdale, Herron said. They won’t be required to seek a four-year degree after their transferred employment, he added.

Troutdale Police Chief Scott Anderson would be given the newly created rank of commander to work under the sheriff. The commander would report to the City Council with performance measures such as response times, and Staton promised to keep Anderson after a six-month transition.

The city will pay $3.2 million in total that also includes a $400,000 transfer for sick leave and vacation time accumulated by Troutdale personnel. Each year, city leaders have the opportunity to renegotiate the contract for more or fewer deputies to cover the city.

The county will also lease most of the space at the Troutdale Police Community Center for $208,952 a year.

Of the 19,214 square feet in the building, the county will use 72.5 percent of the Troutdale Police Department building for County and City of Troutdale law enforcement services and the city will continue using the rest, which houses the city attorney and legal staff, computer servers and a community room, according to city council records.

— Tony Hernandez