City of North Bend release – Mayor Jessica Engelke has released the following statement with regards to Council action on Tuesday, September 21, 2021: “There have been long-standing concerns from law enforcement, City Council, and the community regarding staffing the North Bend Police Department: community policing, overtime, work/life balance, training, recruitment, and retention have been under discussion dating back to the public safety fee reduction that occurred in May 2020. These issues were again addressed in public meetings earlier this year. To address the concerns, the City Council on Tuesday voted to secure an outside consultant capable of performing a 360-degree review of our police department, policies, and practices. This will include a professional law enforcement study that the Council intends to use as a basis for preparing a strategic plan for future growth and development. It will consist of a detailed report on, amongst other things: Efficiency, staffing, deployment schedules, overtime, and department operations; Organizational strengths and weaknesses, Projections, inferences, or recommendations for managing the workload of the agency; and Pay and analysis of similar-sized agencies in Oregon, including associated incentives and benefits. The City remains committed to receiving quality input to move us forward in addressing these previously-raised concerns going back to 2017 when the public safety fee was imposed on taxpayers and most recently raised in a letter to our attorneys.”