Former La Center police chief to run for council

By Tyler Graf, Columbian county government reporter

Published:

 

LA CENTER — La Center's former police chief says he plans to run for City Council.

Tim Hopkin, 65, who retired from the La Center Police Department over the summer, announced his intention to run for office during a Wednesday evening City Council meeting.

"I served the city for 20 years," Hopkin said. "But I'm not done serving."

Hopkin said he wanted to run for City Council because La Center had been facing some tough financial choices over the course of the last couple of years, including how to balance the budget and whether to raise taxes and fees.

He'd like to bring his institutional memory to the council, he said.

On top of that, Hopkin said, he believes there were hurt feelings between the city's union and elected leaders, stemming from recent union negotiations.

In 2011, the union and the city traded unfair labor negotiation complaints.

"It was a difficult time negotiating with the unions," Hopkin said, adding that he would work to create more unity on the council.

Hopkin's candidacy had been rumored since he retired in August.

The retirement capped a 41-year career in law enforcement.

He started working for the La Center Police Department in 1985. In 1996, he became the city's police chief.

Hopkin's retirement followed an independent audit that found shortcomings at the La Center Police Department.

His retirement also came shortly after he moved back within La Center's city limits after living outside of it for several years.

The move means Hopkin meets residence eligibility conditions for a candidate, which require that they live in a city for at least a year prior to the election date, according to the Clark County Elections Office.

Hopkin said he did not know whose seat he'll run for in the election.