During Tuesday night's City Council meeting, a member expressed concern with the number of police officers working private duty road jobs providing safety measures at construction sites.
Councilman Joe Scazzafava was concerned because of the gas pipeline installation requiring officers on Mill Plain Road and Golden Hill Road, as well as the ongoing North Street expansion project having officers man several intersections in the work zone.
Mayor Mark Boughton explained that the officers are off duty working private jobs, and the contractor is paying a fee to the City. Scazzafava pointed out that there are several vacancies in the Police Department, which is not up to full authorized strength due to retirements and other openings.
Boughton noted that there is a mandatory amount of officers on patrol at any given time, so private duty jobs take a secondary role. If the gas company requests five officers, Boughton says they may only get two because the others are needed to round out the shift.