As the storm of opinion swirls around Mammoth Lakes and the Town Council proposes to cut seven police officers, Police Chief Dan Watson has made his beliefs known but has not said too much. He has prepared a report which may come up at Thursday night’s Town Council meeting.
At the beginning of October, Chief Watson said, “Being in a remote location without other law enforcement services nearby, I’m concerned about what this will mean for the safety of our residents, visitors, and officers.” The Chief now says he was asked to prepare a plan on a reserve/ volunteer program to support the Police Department. He said it would take time to develop such a program, and it would not offset the loss of seven officers.
As a result of the salvo fired on the police, a number of officers have made plans to retire and to at least apply for jobs elsewhere. Chief Watson said that there will be “a number of vacancies before next July.” The Chief said two officers will retire. Lieutenant John Mair and Officer Jesse Gorham had made their retirements known. The Chief said that one officer has applied elsewhere and is in background checks. He said several other officers have also applied to cover their bases.
The Chief is working on a report on how to restructure the department with ten officers, after losing seven.
The Town Council planned to talk about the government re-structuring plan at their meeting Thursday night at 6pm. The plan is scheduled for discussion as the last item on a somewhat brief agenda.