WINSTON, Ore. -- Big changes are coming to the Winston Police Department with the retirement of their former chief.
Interim Chief Brandon Sarti is already hitting the ground running in his new position. He said over his last 20 years in Winston, he’s seen ways to bolster what the department is able to do for the Winston community.
Sarti's first big step is to bring in a K-9 unit, and Sarti said he hopes to cut down on drug use
“I’m going to move forward on getting a drug dog for this community, and I’m pretty happy about that,” Sarti said.
On Tuesday night, the city granted his request to purchase that drug dog.
“I’ve been here for 22 years, and I’ve seen the drug problems in this community,” Sarti said. “We have one, just like other communities do. But that’s a focal point of mine. That’s one of my goals ... to try to get that reduced in this community.”
Sarti said the Winston Police Department will be holding a fundraiser at Melrose Vineyards on Sept. 15 from 4 to 7 p.m to help get that new drug dog.
He's also working to have two sergeants fill his former role as second-in-command.
Sarti said when he held that position, he was often stuck in the office where he couldn't help other officers.
His proposal to the city council would have the sergeants spending more time in the community.
“This is going to allow us to have the sergeants out on the road,” Sarti said. “They’ll have some administrative duties they’ll have to do, each one of them, but it’ll allow them to be out on the road with the troops. That’s going to be important. It’s important for liability purposes. It’s important to make sure everything is running properly.”
Sarti took over for Chief Scott Gugel at the end of August after he retired.
The city will evaluate Sarti's performance over the next two months before deciding if he'll replace Gugel permanently.
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