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Posts Tagged ‘Kitsap County Sheriff’

Kitsap County’s sheriff not ready to support marijuana legalization initiative

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

In his former life as a Washington state trooper, Kitsap County Sheriff Steve Boyer recalls watching a motorist one day drive around a Walmart parking lot, encircling it several times at about three miles an hour. 

Round and round the car went, until Boyer’s hit his overhead lights and brought the car from its crawl to a halt.

The driver was stoned, Boyer recalled.

The sheriff used the story to explain to me his mixed feelings about Initiative 502, which would legalize the possession of marijuana for adults 21 and over. The driver was certainly not the worst he’d ever seen, having responded to too many alcohol-fueled fatality crashes. But he looks at the issue from a public health standpoint: would Washingtonians be better off if they could purchase weed at a store?

“Do you really want to add it to the mix” of our currently legalized libations? he asked.

For the record, Boyer will not be following suit of King County Sheriff Steve Strachan, who has come out in favor of the initiative. Boyer will be voting no on it.

But the issue’s merits are a conversation he wants to have.

“I think it deserves a dialogue and discussion,” he said. “Not just rhetoric.”

He believes that medical marijuana, whose patients in this state have long operated in a legal gray area, can help people. And he does not view pot as a scourge on society in the same way as, say, meth or heroin have been.

“Marijuana being an evil weed causing all the problems in this country? I don’t buy that,” he said.

But here’s why he’s voting no:

  • The plant remains a so-called Schedule 1 narcotic — meaning it has a high potential for abuse and has no value medically — in the eyes of the federal government.
  • Use of any substance not prescribed for medical use — legal or illegal — “do not usually make a person’s life better,” he said.
  • He doubts the criminal justice system will save money by not having to prosecute simple marijuana possession. “There are very few people in jail for recreational marijuana,” he said.

Boyer reiterated his willingness to continue the discuss and that he could change his mind about possible future initiatives. For now, he’s still weighing the issues, but isn’t ready to vote to end marijuana prohibition.

 


UPDATE: Cops search car of suspected liquor thieves

Friday, September 7th, 2012

Fifty bottles of high end liquor were removed from a car police believe belongs to one of three women who stole it from area Safeway stores, Port Orchard Police Cmdr. Geoffrey Marti told me this morning. 

The bottles were mostly in the $50 price range, Marti said. A detective obtained a search warrant and served it on the car, found by police at the Port Orchard Safeway, Thursday afternoon.

Long story short, the three women, who have yet to be charged with a crime, are accused of stealing the liquor from Safeway stores all across the county, from Bainbridge Island to Port Orchard. They were arrested in Port Orchard but released Tuesday as the investigation developed.

Here’s the recap, if you haven’t read it yet:

 Police say the trio, two Seattle women age 23 and 21 and a 21-year-old Kent woman, have been caught on camera and by store security loading shoulder bags and shopping carts full of liquor and then attempting to leave the stores. Up until early Monday, they’d avoided apprehension.

But early Monday — after the women were alleged to have made off with more than $600 worth of mostly Crown Royal from the Bainbridge Island Safeway on High School Road — the suspects showed up at the Bethel Road Safeway in Port Orchard, 36 miles away.

There, an officer, notified by Bethel Road store’s employees and Bainbridge officers, confronted the three. In interviews with Port Orchard officers, two denied the thefts and a third declined to talk to police. Police located a vehicle in the parking lot that had numerous bottles of liquor, including Crown Royal with security devices attached to them.

In total, the three are alleged to have attempted to take or make off with liquor in the past week at Safeways in Bainbridge, Port Orchard, East Bremerton and West Bremerton. Police say they might have stolen from some stores more than once.

The case is now being coordinated by a Kitsap County Sheriff’s detective, Marti added. We’ll keep you posted.

Blogger’s note: the photo on this post comes from the Bremerton Safeway’s attempted liquor theft by the same suspects Sept. 3. 


Heroes of South Kitsap Walmart shooting honored

Friday, October 7th, 2011

Krista McDonald — the Kitsap County Sheriff’s deputy and hero on that January day when a Utah man shot two of her fellow deputies at Walmart — was awarded the sheriff’s office’s highest honor at a ceremony in September. 

McDonald was awarded the medal of valor by Kitsap County Sheriff Steve Boyer.

“The actions of Deputy Krista McDonald saved the lives of two wounded deputies, most likely her own life, and eliminated an imminent threat to public safety and the lives of civilians who were in the immediate vicinity,” Boyer said. “These actions are acts of exceptional professionalism as well as heroism in the face of grave danger.”

As you’ll recall from our previous coverage:

Seeing two of her fellow officers wounded by a Utah fugitive, Kitsap County Sheriff’s deputy Krista McDonald engaged the suspect, Anthony A. Martinez, hitting him in the knee with a hollow-point bullet fired from her .40-caliber Glock, bringing him to the ground from 60 feet away.

 

Also awarded for their heroics in the Jan. 23 incident at the sheriff’s awards banquet:

A sheriff’s certificate of appreciation was awarded to David Wilson, a Harrison Medical Center nurse who helped at the scene before medics arrived.

Deputies Troy Graunke and Mark Gundrum and reserve deputy Darryl Barnes were awarded sheriff’s commendation for their response to the scene.

And last, but most certainly not least, deputies Andrew Ejde and John Stacy, wounded by gunfire, were presented law enforcement’s purple heart medal and the medal of courage.

The National Sheriffs’ Association’s Award of the Medal of Valor, was also presented to Ejde, McDonald and Stacy.

 


In memoriam: The crown vic, law enforcement’s ‘warhorse’

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

Police officers have a reputation for being tough. But over the past week, I’ve heard several cops wax nostalgic about the departure of a dear colleague: The Ford Crown Victoria.

The “crown vic,” for short, has become, in its three decades, a sine qua non of American police departments. But Ford has decided it’s time for the model to accept its pension and gold watch, according to an article in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

“It is a sad day,” said Kitsap County Undersheriff Dennis Bonneville. “The old crown vic has served law enforcement well for many years.”

Kitsap County Sheriff Steve Boyer called the crown vic law enforcement’s longtime “warhorse.”

“The Crown Vic was probably the best patrol car used by law enforcement agencies ever,” echoed Mason County Chief Deputy Dean Byrd. “It was bulletproof and durable. It was agile and large enough to house all of the equipment necessary for a deputy or officer to do his or her job.”

Byrd added that some departments, including Port Angeles police, aren’t yet willing to let go, experimenting with rebuilding their existing crown vics to extend their functional lives.

“So far the results are promising,” he said.

For those not going the Port Angeles route, what’s next?

Poulsbo Police Sgt. Bob Wright said his department had been expecting the crown vic’s departure — and had even found something they liked a little better a few years back, gas prices be darned: an SUV.

“In 2003, we started to move from sedans to a more versatile police vehicle, a four wheel drive Ford Explorer which was built on a truck frame. The vehicle cost was nearly the same as the Crown Vic.

The four wheel drive turned out to be the best value for the money. The vehicles could go anywhere which is especially valuable in a City that is built on hills and gets some very bad weather in the winters.  Prior to this we were having to chain up and down police cars daily and breaking lots of tire chains during response to emergencies.”

There’s also the factor that law enforcement officers are increasingly tasked with carrying more and more equipment, he pointed out.

Ford, of course, is rolling out new “police interceptor” patrol cars to meet the law enforcement demand. If more police departments move to something bigger, like Poulsbo did, they could pick Ford’s SUV interceptor model.

Port Orchard Police Chief Al Townsend added his department is looking to try the new Chevrolet Caprice and Ford Police Interceptor  (its sedan model).

If history tells us anything, the police car of the future — in America at least — will probably be a Ford. The Crown Victoria held 70 percent of the market for police vehicles last year, according to the Star-Tribune article.


Suquamish police can give your heart a restart (if necessary)

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

The Suquamish Police Department was the first law enforcement agency in Kitsap County to outfit its force with video cameras in patrol cars. These days, they’re the first to have another tool in each officer’s vehicle: an Automatic External Defibrillator, or AED.

AEDs, which can help restart the heart muscle, are by all accounts wonderful pieces of technology, but they are pricey at around $1,000 per unit. Suquamish PD got them using a federal grant available to tribal police departments.

Will the rest of the county’s agencies join in? I polled other agencies and the answer was no.

Port Orchard: “We have one in city hall,” said Port Orchard Police Chief Al Townsend. “That’s about it.”

But Kitsap County Sheriff’s Spokesman Scott Wilson notes that more AEDs are on the way to the county, even if they’re not in patrol cars:

“The sheriff’s office has obtained grant money administered through the Department of Homeland Security (Region 2),” Wilson wrote me in an email. “These are funds dedicated, for all Kitsap County law enforcement agencies, for the purchase and deployment of AEDs.”

“The AEDs will be placed in / on:

  • All law enforcement buildings / offices (that need them)
  • Select law enforcement vehicles, such as the RV mobile command post, the SWAT team vehicle, BPD major crimes unit vehicle, etc.
  • All marine patrol boats (every agency that has them).

“All told, there should be about 30 AEDs purchased and deployed,” Wilson wrote.

Here’s the rest of the press release from the Suquamish Police Department, including some facts about cardiac arrest:

The Suquamish Police Department is pleased to announce that all officers have been issued Automatic External Defibrillators.  The Phillips “Heartstart” AED’s were purchased using a Department of Justice Tribal Resources Grant Program.

AED’s have proven to be a valuable tool for saving lives.  While we have outstanding Fire and Medical response in North Kitsap County, there are some locations and circumstances where Law Enforcement officers are closer to the scene of a sudden cardiac arrest, and can arrive minutes earlier.  Our officers have been trained in the use of AED’s for years, but we were finally able to obtain funding to equip every police officer with an AED for their car.

The model that our department purchased will work on both adults and children.

This new equipment will allow us to better serve all of the 7000+ residents who live on the Port Madison reservation.  We are particularly interested in protecting our community elders, and keeping their knowledge and wisdom with us for many years to come.

Some facts about Sudden Cardiac Arrest:

  • More people die from SCA than from breast cancer, prostate cancer, AIDS, house fires, handguns and traffic accidents combined.
  • Nearly 80 percent of all cardiac arrests occur in the home; the majority are witnessed by someone who could potentially be a lifesaver.
  • The underlying cause of SCA is not well understood. Many victims have no previously reported history of heart disease, or if heart disease is present, it has not functionally impaired them.
  • 50 percent of men and 63 percent of women who died from SCA had not previously reported symptoms of heart disease.
  • SCA strikes both men and women. The average age of victims is 65; however, many of those who experience SCA are much younger—many in their 30s and 40s.
  • Defibrillation is recognized as the definitive treatment for ventricular fibrillation, the abnormal heart rhythm most often associated with SCA. While CPR may help prolong the window of survival, it cannot restore a normal cardiac rhythm.
  • For every minute that goes by without defibrillation, a cardiac arrest victim’s chances of survival decrease by about 10 percent. After 10 minutes without defibrillation, few attempts at resuscitation are successful.
  • SCA survivors have a good long-term prognosis: 80 percent of survivors are alive after one year and 57 percent after five years.
  • The average National response time for emergency medical services in a typical community is nine minutes.
  • Presently, the national SCA survival rate in the United States is less than five percent.
  • The American Heart Association estimates that 40,000 more lives could be saved annually in the U.S. alone if automated external defibrillators (AEDs) were more widely available and could reach victims more quickly.

Search and Rescue Dog Training Conference Coming to Kitsap

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Dog Meet, the state’s premier training conference for search and rescue canines, is coming to Kitsap.

Handlers, instructors, and of course, the dogs themselves will converge on the Kitsap County Fairgrounds Sept. 9-11, 2011. Grants from the Planet Dog Foundation and the American Kennel Club fund the event, which is hosted by a different search and rescue unit each year.

This year’s event is being hosted by All Breed Canine Search and Rescue (ABCSAR), which is the K-9 arm of Kitsap County Explorer Search and Rescue. For more information on the program or to become a member, go to www.kitsapesar.com.

Here’s more from the press release:

Search and rescue dog handlers travel from all over North America to attend this annual conference, which is hosted by a different Washington state SAR unit each year. This year’s event is funded by generous grants from the Planet Dog Foundation, and the American Kennel Club.

The theme of Dog Meet 2011 is “Saving Lives, One Sniff at a Time.”

About 150 dog handlers are expected to attend, with the added benefit of a boost for Silverdale-area restaurants and hotels.

“This is a great chance for both experienced and beginning dog handlers to meet, share experiences, and receive some top-notch training,” said Bruce Ramey, chairman of ABCSAR. “And how can you not have a good time with 150 dogs around?”

Dog Meet 2011 will feature a number of internationally-known instructors.

Kevin George, an expert in K9 behavior and motivation. He heads the first volunteer SAR unit certified by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in the province of Alberta.

Andy Rebmann of K9 Specialty Search Associates, Kent, WA. Andy has been involved in search work and K-9 training since 1972. He is a retired trainer for Connecticut State Police. During his career, he trained K-9 teams for patrol, narcotics, explosive, arson, wilderness, disaster, water and cadaver work.

Marcia Koenig, also of K9 Specialty Search Associates, has been involved in volunteer search dog work since 1972. She was a founding member of the American Rescue Dog Association and the Texas Unit of ARDA. She is a founding member of Northwest Disaster Search Dogs and King County Search Dogs.

The conference will also take some time on Sunday, Sept. 11 to honor the human and canine heroes of the World Trade Center attacks.

ABCSAR members are all volunteers, as are most search and rescue dog handlers in Washington State.

“We depend on these volunteers when someone goes missing,” said Kitsap County Sheriff Steve Boyer. “There is no sheriff’s office in the state that could field the number of people and the specialized skills necessary using paid staff.”

SAR dog handlers spend about 400 hours per year training on weekends and at night to be ready when their local sheriff’s office calls for assistance. Their dogs live with them as pets until the call goes out and they respond as a team.

ABCSAR is grateful for the support of Planet Dog and AKC to help make this the best Dog Meet ever held.

The Planet Dog Foundation is providing $7000 toward this year’s Dog Meet. Since January 2006, the foundation has provided almost $1,000,000 in cash grants and in-kind product donations to enable more dogs help children and adults in need.

The American Kennel Club’s Companion Animal Recovery (CAR) Canine Support and Relief Fund has provided $5000 in support of the conference. The CAR Fund provides more than $400,000 annually to not-for-profit animal shelters, search and rescue groups and veterinary units that support animal rescue.

SAR volunteers are unpaid. Other than gasoline reimbursements for actual missions, volunteers bear the cost of providing this valuable service.

“This event is another example of how Kitsap County residents take care of themselves, and others,” said Phyllis Mann, the county’s director of Emergency Management. “I am constantly impressed at how our local citizens step up when there is some need to be filled.”


UPDATE: Driving + Cell Phone + Ear = $124 Ticket

Monday, June 14th, 2010

The era of holding up a cell phone to your ear while driving in Washington is over. Granted, it had been illegal for a couple years, but beyond the reach of the cops if drivers were obeying all other laws.

Texting, too, is out. And don’t pull over to talk on the shoulder, because that’s not safe, either.

Even the police say they’ll limit time on the phone while driving, even though they’re exempt from the law.

Will some continue to drive around talking and texting, ultimately disregarding the law? I suppose, but judging by the strong words from our local law enforcement leaders, I’d say it’s a habit that’s going the way of the Dodo.

“In an effort to protect the public and cut accidents we will be enforcing this law the day it goes into effect,” said Shawn Delaney, deputy chief of the Poulsbo Police Department.

But even if it’s enforced from the get-go, Al Townsend, chief of the Port Orchard Police Department, points out that his office is not planning any type of emphasis patrols. A cell phone violation will be weighed like any other.

“Officers will maintain the same discretion they have on any traffic infraction as to whether they will stop and warn the driver or write a citation,” he said.

But the police, too, have noticed this law has been extensively covered in the press.

“The Mason County Sheriff’s Office is very much aware of the extraordinary amount of media coverage this law has had so we do not anticipate an education period for motorists violating this law,” said Dean Byrd, Mason County Sheriff’s spokesman.

We already know, however, what the state patrol’s plans are. They will likely be the police agency that focuses on this new law most.

UPDATE: Monday, June 14: I heard back from Kitsap County Sheriff Steve Boyer. Here are some of his observations:

“We are essentially on the same page with the (state) patrol. Thanks to the media attention, the educational component is well placed. As previously reported, even with the law enforcement exemption, we have provided the essential tools for our people to set a good example.

There will be those who want to argue; however, it is just common sense (with a strong research foundation); too bad legislation is required to modify human behavior. Besides, why would good people want to risk hurting anyone?  It was interesting to me how many fewer people were using cell phones today (Thursday, the first day of the law) than yesterday.”


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