Monday, two Mammoth Lakes Police Officers were sworn in to go to work for the Mono County Sheriff’s Office. Mammoth Police Chief Dan Watson said he was there for the ceremony which turned two of his officers into deputies – Dan Casabian and David Scobie. That leaves the MLPD with eleven police officers out of the previous seventeen.
The number will drop to the Town Council-desired ten officers when Lieutenant John Mair’s current contract ends in July. The police officer MOU guaranteed a full staff through July. Mair had retired but came back on contract. Chief Watson said another officer is “processing with a department down south”. That would possibly lead to another vacancy.
How does he schedule patrols with a more than 40% cut from his previous force? Chief Watson responded that MLPD is short-handed with no more than two police officers on duty and none between 3am and 7am. The Chief is most concerned with the late evening hours when the Department used to have four officers on duty and now it is two.
Watson told of how a few weeks ago one officer was at the hospital with a DUI suspect when a bar incident broke out. The other officer had to respond alone to multiple fights in a parking lot. Chief Watson said it turned out okay but when the Town is full and people are drinking the situation can turn dangerous.