Local News

Tusayan Approves Law Enforcement Contract

May 24, 2016

 Tusayan has inked a deal with the Coconino County Sheriff’s office to provide law enforcement services for $497,000 a year. It’s a major increase from the current contract but well below the $690,000 a year the county originally sought.

Before Tusayan incorporated, law enforcement services were free courtesy of the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office. After incorporation, the Town of Tusayan was obligated to take on that role.

Tusayan got a good deal five years ago when it signed a contract with the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office for about $350,000 a year for law enforcement services.

That contract expires at the end of June and the Town Council got a case of sticker shock when Coconino County asked for nearly 700K.

Town Manager Eric Duthie, who used to serve as the Police Chief of Hayden Arizona, negotiated better terms. The new deal is still a steep increase compared to the old contract and Coconino County can raise the fee 4% a year. Duthie said it’s an expense that can’t be avoided, “Law enforcement doesn’t make money. It’s an expense you pay for to maintain a community.”

Tusayan also has the option of creating its own police force. It’s an expensive option. Duthie noted that Hayden, Arizona has 700 people and the cost of operating a full-time police department is $870,000.

However, if the Town changes its mind it can cancel the contract with 120 days’ notice.