Monthly Archives: February 2008

When Felons Get Out, Who’s Gonna Hire Them?

The U.S. not only leads the world in the number of people imprisoned, but how many we are letting out.

And those of us who follow the courts know well there’s many familiar faces that wash up every few months in the wave that is the criminal justice system.

Just how do we go about keeping those with criminal pasts from committing felonies in their futures? Washington’s Employment Security Department has one such solution (at least to get them a job anyway): Fidelity Bonds.

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Of Poisonous Fruits

In the case of a CK man arrested for videotaping people using a restroom in December, local defense attorney Thomas Weaver attempted in Kitsap County Superior Court Tuesday to call into question the validity of a search warrant police had obtained for suspected marijuana delivery.

How are those two crimes — voyeurism and drug delivery — related?

Police hadn’t expected to find the video, which totaled about 50 hours. They were at the man’s home to find marijuana.

But one of the arguments Weaver put forth was that the police search warrant for marijuana was limited away from turning on any cameras or computers. Judge Karlynn Haberly ruled against him, saying law enforcement had the right to look at the electronic devices.

But had she ruled the other way, an interesting legal doctrine may have emerged, called “Fruit of a Poisonous Tree.”

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How’s this for a Justice System with a ‘Revolving Door?’

This just in from Tennessee: authorities say a 60-year-old Nashville man is serving a “life sentence five days at a time.”

Since 1982, Andy Davis, a now-gray haired man has been arrested 416 times, according to WKRN in Nashville. He was hooked most recently for pulling a box cutter on an undercover cop, police said.

The initial felony charge has been reduced to a misdemeanor, meaning he’ll get at most a year in jail. Which means No. 417 could come sooner rather than later.

We’ve written stories concerning some locals’ concerns that Kitsap County’s justice system has a revolving door. But I’d be curious if we have anyone anywhere near that many arrests.

UPDATE: Cops in ’08: Port Orchard on the Grow

Blogger’s Note: This is the fourth installment (and final city agency) of the “Cops in ’08” series, chronicling local law enforcement agencies’ accomplishments in 2007 as well as their goals in 2008.

For this installment, I am going to let the responses of Al Townsend, Port Orchard Police Chief, speak for themselves.

UPDATE: Aside from this interview, Townsend told me Feb. 26 that the department has hired its new police commander. Geoff Marti, from the Lincoln (Nebraska) Police Department, will join the force March 17. Marti, who has 27 years’ experience, is also from the department where Townsend first worked.

Josh: Where do you think your agency stands now?

Al: We have an excellent police agency that provides some of the highest clearance rates, quickest response times to calls, and some of the highest filing rates for cases in the county. We have a very professional group of officers and staff that I am proud to work with.

Unfortunately we also are in the top 10 most violent crimes per capita in the state. Being a small community this number can be affected substantially by even small problem areas. We have tracked a great deal of this to our bar issues in the downtown core. We are working hard to resolve that and get our city off that “top 10 list.”

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UPDATE: The ‘Meth ATM’ Story: National Attention, Local Scrutiny

Kitsap County again got national attention for news of the unusual when a Bremerton woman allegedly deposited meth into her bank account from an ATM.

UPDATE: It even made NBC’s Late Night with Conan O’Brien. To watch it, click here, then go to “watch full episodes” and click on the Feb. 15 show. It appears about 3 minutes and 50 seconds into the show. Special thanks to fellow reporter Derek Sheppard for catching it.

Just in case you were under a rock this past week (not that it’s bad sometimes), read the story here.

Media outlets from The Canadian Press to Fox News told the tale. A commenter on the original story even found a possible “kissin’ cousin” that attempted to deposit pot into an ATM in Salem, Ore.

I have posted the original police report, with names redacted, so you can see for yourself how police investigated and developed probable cause for the 18-year-old’s arrest.

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X-52 Patrols Coming This Week

Though strange — and frustrating — as it may seem, that Poulsbo cop that nabs you in Port Orchard for speeding will just be doing his job.

Thanks to a half-million dollar pool of money from the feds, the Washington Traffic Safety Commission is going to have extra patrols in targeted areas somewhere in the state each week (hence the “X-52”).

The week of Feb. 18 is Kitsap’s turn to get about $17,000 in overtime pay for local officers to go out and conduct the extra patrols.

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Cops in ’08: Bremerton PD Turns Big Corner

Blogger’s Note: This is the third installment of the “Cops in ’08” series, chronicling local law enforcement agencies’ accomplishments in 2007 as well as their goals in 2008.

To put it mildly, the Bremerton Police Department is in a time of vast change.

New programs, from the installation of red-light cameras around town to using more proactive and targeted law enforcement techniques, are underway. The department has been working to change laws through a newly enacted city ordinance which aims to work more closely with — and penalize if necessary — owners of problem city properties. Even their appearance is changing: they have a new building, new cars, new badges and will soon have new uniforms.

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Cops in ’08: Poulsbo Focuses on Positions

Blogger’s Note: ‘Cops in ’08’ aims to give readers an insight into the plans of their local law enforcement agencies in 2008, as well as review how those agencies fared in 2007. This second installment chronicles the Poulsbo Police Department.

Poulsbo Police Chief Dennis Swiney is just four months into his post, but has big plans for Little Norway’s police department.

The agency has endured much transition and some turbulence this past year. Veteran chief Jeff Doran retired. Former Detective Grant Romaine was fired after a lengthy internal investigation. There were even talks of eliminating the department and contracting law enforcement for Poulsbo through the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office.

The city council has also funded a deputy chief position, so Swiney, the former lawman from Visalia, will have a second-in-command.

Bottom line: the department has some serious hiring to do — and that means Swiney will shape the agency he will lead beyond his leadership philosophy.

“Positions are so critical to an organization,” he said by phone Tuesday.

The department is the smallest non-tribal police agency in Kitsap County, with 20 full-time employees and a budget of just under $2 million.

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Troopers have Banner Year in ’07

The state patrol’s Bremerton detachment recorded increases in citations, arrests and tickets, while overall collisions here fell by 10 percent, troopers reported recently.

The stats for 2007 encompass “District 8” — which includes the entire Kitsap and Olympic peninsulas.

Not only are they the “best dressed” in the country, troopers here had:

*908 arrests for DUI
*9,398 speeding tickets were issued (a 2.8 percent increase over 2006)
*1,955 seatbelt tickets were issued (a 6.9 percent increase over 2006)
*2,156 aggressive drivers were cited (a 32% increase over 2006)

The good news was collisions in district 8 were down 10 percent, the patrol said. Drug arrests for troopers was also up 10 percent, and troopers recovered 15 stolen vehicles in 2007.

Aside from arrests and citations, troopers assisted 8,927 motorists in 2007.

“This level of success can only be accomplished through the dedication, professionalism, and focused efforts of a large group of individuals working together as a team,” Trooper Krista Hedstrom said.

Cops in ’08: Bainbridge Police as Public Speakers

Blogger’s Note: ‘Cops in ’08’ aims to give readers an insight into the plans of their local law enforcement agencies in 2008, as well as review how those agencies fared in 2007. The first installment chronicles the Bainbridge Island Police Department.

Bainbridge Island’s police department plans to do more this year than just policing.

The department is focusing in on “community involvement,” deputy chief Mark Duncan says, which includes going speaking at meetings, coordinating emergency management plans and creating neighborhood crime maps.

“I think we’re making significant progess,” Duncan said of those fronts.

Bainbridge has a low rate of violent crime, something the department of almost 30 commissioned officers is proud of, he said. But when violence does occur, the small department must ensure that officers are trained in specialized fields, such as crime scenes analysis.

And that means having a wide variety of officers. But the island’s force has been able to attract cops from all over the place, Duncan said.

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