Police Department Update|
The Brier Police Department has been working very hard to recruit well qualified lateral applicants to fill the vacant positions. We had 3 vacant positions when I became your Chief of Police in mid-January. We have hired an officer and a Lieutenant and are working on the last position. The addition of the Lieutenant will expand our span of leadership throughout the department. I anticipate that we will be fully staffed by the end of May.
This is a very diverse and competitive hiring time for law enforcement. As other agencies are losing positions monthly, we are filing ours.
I am excited about the future of the Brier Police Department and how we can service you!
"If not us . . . then who"
Chief Nick Almquist
A Letter from the Mayor regarding |
COVID vaccine mandate
At a recent Brier City Council meeting, some comments about Covid vaccination mandates for City staff were made. Subsequent to that, I have received several questions and comments. I hope the following response provides context and helps clarify the situation.
First, I want to express my profound gratitude to our current city staff and first responders who provide such an important role as civil servants. They have chosen a career which often puts public service before their own personal safety.
As the Mayor, it is my observation that the most challenging issue currently facing our city is filling empty staff positions in public works, administration and in our police department. We are very thankful for the dedicated staff that currently serve our residents but are struggling to get qualified applicants for positions in multiple departments. We are not alone in this. My conversations with other local Mayors have convinced me that this is a regional if not national concern.
The City of Brier has struggled in recent years to staff its small police force, and residents have been clear in their wishes to retain a city-based, local police department. The goal with a smaller police force is that we can be selective when hiring, to identify and cultivate officers who desire connection with our small community, and relationships with our neighborhoods and residents. The reality is that there is a labor shortage in law enforcement, and Brier is actively competing with other cities that have greater resources. Many cities have hiring bonuses, higher salaries, and greater career path options. If we want to maintain our own police force in the City of Brier, we must strike a balance in the compensation that we offer, and this includes expectations regarding employee vaccination.
We all recognize the importance of and the need for an effective, well trained, and fully staffed Police Department. I am personally thankful for our new Chief of Police Nick Almquist. He came to us highly recommended with over three decades of local police experience. He has served a month but has rallied our current officers, lead them well, implemented much needed changes and lobbied for appropriate training and equipment. Together he and I are also working hard to attract excellent candidates for our city. In addition, I have implemented a monetary incentive plan to help attract potential officers and keep current ones.
Chief Almquist has pursued applicants to the department at an impressive rate. Some of those applicants have come from other institutions that had a Covid 19 vaccination mandate in place. All applicants will be considered for this important and demanding job. As appropriate for the position, the application process is lengthy and rigorous.
The City of Brier does not currently have a vaccination mandate for any of its employees. We are far from alone in this position. I am currently not aware of any City in Snohomish County with a vaccination mandate for all its first responders. Snohomish County has also chosen not to have a mandate, relying instead on federal guidance issued through OSHA's Emergency Temporary Standard.
In addition, Governor Inslee does not include Police Officers in the definition of "health care providers" because their performance of medical functions is merely incidental to their roles in law enforcement.
I do recognize and respect the fact that Brier citizens have diverse and often strong opinions on this matter. The greatest personal influence in my life was my dad. He was the Mayor of the City where I grew up. He taught me by example to first be a good listener and work hard at understanding the position of those I disagree with. I am trying my best to heed his advice.
On a personal note, my wife and I have both received the Covid 19 shots and the recommended booster. In addition, I have encouraged others to also get vaccinated.
I am happy to report that Snohomish County Covid 19 new cases have dropped precipitously. According to the State of Washington Action on Covid web site, as recent a January 26, 2022, the new case count in Snohomish County was over 9,000 and the 7-day average was 2,676. As of later February 2022, the new case count and the 7-day average was near zero. In addition, the CDC recently designated Snohomish County level as low and has relaxed indoor masking recommendations. Let's all hope these treads continue.
I hope this has been helpful. If you have questions or comments, please feel free to call me at City Hall (425 775 5440) or email me at email@example.com. Thanks.
Mayor of Brier
BOARDS AND COMMISIONS|
Get involved in your community. If you are a Brier resident and would like an opportunity to effect change in the city please submit a letter to the Mayor that you would be willing to serve on one of our boards or commissions.
Click Here - For details
NOVEL CORONAVIRUS 2021/22|
Novel Coronavirus is an ongoing situation in Snohomish County. Information is changing frequently.
The City of Brier is operating under the guidance of county, state and national health officers on best practices to minimize exposure to keep our community members safe.
Snohomish County Health District
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
FIRE DISTRICT CAN HELP ANSWER QUESTIONS ABOUT SMOKE ALARMS AND HOME SAFETY|
For more information visit their website at www.southsnofire.org or contact the Public Educator and Community Outreach at 425-320-5800 or by email - Click Here.
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