Local News

COPS to the rescue?

May 23, 2011

Community Oriented Policing Services or COPS could solve Tusayan's pricey patrol predicament or make it worse. Coconino County is working with the Town to get a grant good for $180,000 a year. It would pay for two full time law enforcement positions and offset the Town $360,000 yearly tab to Coconino County to cover the cost of law enforcement.

The federal grant requires a four year commitment and three years of funding. It could also tie Tusayan to the Coconino County Sheriff's Office longer than desired. Town Hall is still seething over the possibility that it cannot get out of the pricey law enforcement contract for another year. The COPS agreement could offset the sting. So could a letter discovered by Town manager Enrique Ochoa.

The letter dated February 17th could bolster the Town's claim that it beat a deadline to provide 120 days notice that it wanted out of the law enforcement contract. The 120 day clause is what may lock Tusayan into the contract for another year. Ochoa says he is trying to confirm if the letter was received by Coconino County and if it serves as legal notice.

Council Member Bob Blasi is still determined that Tusayan have a Town Marshall at some point; and he is holding his fellow council members to their support, "If on this council when people change their minds  you can bet I'll bring it up."

Blasi is also upset that Coconino County could not immediately confirm if it received the letter, "The fact that there is no known response is par for the course." 

Judge Bill Sutton, who was hired by the Town to look for law enforcement options, took issue with the Mayor Greg Bryan's previous statement that the Town is not here to keep Sutton employed. Judge Sutton responded at the May 19th Council meeting, "If you feel you're just trying to keep me employed, just tell me and we'll part as friends."

Mayor Bryan apologized for his comments.