At a Special Westport City Council Workshop meeting held last Thursday morning, April 3, council members voted unanimously to start advertising for a new police chief to replace longtime Chief Bill Gibson, who announced that he will retire effective July 4.
For the past several months, the City Council has been studying whether to disbanding the Westport Police Department and replace it by contracting for policing services with the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office or to hire a new police chief.
Westport Mayor Michael Bruce reported to the council at the Thursday meeting that Mike Painter, a representative of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC), could be available on April 14, the next regularly scheduled council meeting day, to make a presentation on hiring processes and services that the Sheriffs and Police Chiefs Association could provide the City of Westport for hiring a new police chief.
Council members voted unanimously to meet with Painter.
According to Bruce, the April 14 City Council meeting will begin at 3:30 p.m. “After roll call, we will adjourn into executive session to hear about the process and discuss the costs involved in pursuing a police chief,” said Bruce.
The Executive Session is expected to last between one and two hours.
The City Council then plans to return to council chambers and recess until 7 p.m., when they will reconvene.
Action may be taken on the policing issue during the evening session.
The City Council also needs to decide whether one of the current officers or a new hire will fill the second-in-command position vacated by Lt. Joe Christian, who retired at the end of last month.