Tag Archives: Port Orchard Police Department

Officers, others aid woman forced out of her home by stuff

It began with a call for a welfare check from Adult Protective Services. Someone had reported to APS that there was an older woman living in her car, and the Port Orchard Police Department responded.

Sgt. Donna Main was one of the officers who found the woman and learned why she was apparently homeless. The woman was parked in front of a nice, older home her family has owned since 1946. She had cared for her mother in that home before the mother died. There were so many memories … and so much stuff.

The entire property showed signs of neglect. Both the front and back yards were overgrown with brush.
“You couldn’t see the house from the street, because it’s all overgrown,” Main said. “You can open the door … sort of.”

Inside are piles of stuff to the point one would have to crawl over the stuff to get in.

“She said she was trying to clean up a bit,” said Main. But clearly the task had become overwhelming. So the woman, who is 73, moved into her car.

“When I found her in the car, she had food; she was warm,” Main said. “She wasn’t asking for help. She wasn’t asking for assistance. She wasn’t asking for handouts. She’s a very strong woman.”

It was a police matter, but it wasn’t. The woman was not in danger, and she wasn’t a danger to anyone else. Main could have written her report and called it a day.

“I just couldn’t personally go home to my warm bed knowing this 73-year-old woman was sleeping in her car,” Main said.

Officer Bill Shaibly also took an interest in the woman’s plight.

The woman had all the symptoms of having a hoarding disorder, defined by the American Psychiatric Association as excessive saving of “items that others may view as worthless and have persistent difficulty getting rid of or parting with possessions, leading to clutter that disrupts their ability to use their living or work spaces.”

Often, hoarding is associated with other types of psychiatric disorders, but this woman appeared to be thinking clearly, Main said. And she was open to help in getting rid of the excess stuff.

“She knows she needs to make some changes,” Main said. “She knows she needs to let some stuff go if she wants to get back in her house.”

Main and Schaibley recruited friends and workers from Naval Base Kitsap to clear the front yard a couple of weeks ago. Last weekend, a group from the community tackled the backyard, with help and donations of supplies like bags and gloves from Port Orchard Walmart. Main emphasized that the help wasn’t directly connected to the police department. It was simply people responding to a neighbor in need.

Main and others have arranged for the woman to receive pro bono counseling and dental work.

In upcoming weeks, they will tackle the inside of the house.

“It’s an enormous job,” main said. “I don’t know if this can be done. But if we don’t try, we’ll never know.”

PO police pull crab pots

Last week we heard from Jim Griffis who sent us this picture of Port Orchard Police Department’s patrol boat, with officers on deck pulling crab pots.
Griffis said the officers appeared to be taking photographs of the crabs and gear. He found it “very unusual” since the state Department of Fish & Wildlife has jurisdiction over crabbing regulations.

True, but the police help out as they are needed, according to Chief Geoffrey Marti. The city of Port Orchard has binding agreements with a number of different agencies, including Fish & Wildlife to assist with enforcement. Part of the reason is that grant money used to purchase the boat requires inter-agency cooperation with other jurisdictions.

One such agreement ensures help on the water from Port Orchard to the city of Bremerton, which does not have its own patrol boat. Fish & Wildlife has boats, but wildlife officers can’t be everywhere. Neither can Port Orchard officers, but if they see something illegal, they’re not going to turn a blind eye, Cmdr. Dale Schuster said.

“We’re not going to walk away from a violation that’s right in front of us.” Schuster said.

Schuster said the crabbing enforcement documented by Griffis happened on July 16 (a Tuesday) in Yukon Harbor, according to POPD records. Crabbing in this area is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays (as in all of area 10 covering the Seattle/Bremerton region). Other regulations apply. The catch is limited to male crabs of a minimum size (depending on the variety). Gear must meet DFW specifications, and the catch must be recorded.

According to Schuster three illegal pots were pulled; two belonged to the same person. The third belonged to another person.

So the next time you see a law enforcement marine patrol boat checking out crab pots, you can be assured they’re not after a seafood dinner.

POPD’s new chief not making any big changes

Geoffrey MartiPort Orchard’s new police chief, former Cmdr. Geoffrey Marti, says not to expect big changes now that he has taken over from Chief Al Townsend.

Marti’s promotion was confirmed with little fanfare at Tuesday’s city council meeting. Townsend was sworn in as Poulsbo’s police chief last week.

Marti, with five years as second in command of the POPD, said his philosophy is aligned with Townsend, and that’s no surprise. The two have known each other for 25 years and worked together for 15 of them, 10 in the Lincoln, Neb. PD.

Marti expects a smooth transition. He will promote from within to replace his position, he said.

Marti is big on “transparency” and accountability to the public.

“I want people to know what their police department is doing,” he said. “My philosophy is we don’t have anything to hide from the public.”

He has instituted a system of dealing with complaints that creates hard copy documentation of each complaint, how it was handled and the resolution. The front line supervisor involved is responsible for getting back to the person who made the complaint.

“This system finds areas where we maybe did not perform up to standard. It also shows where we exceeded expectations,” Marti said.

Marti said the biggest issue for POPD right now is covering a larger geographic area — due to annexations — with a budget that remains tight. The top two crimes in the city at this time are retail theft, especially from big box stores, and theft from automobiles.

Marti wants the force to be proactive in solving recurrent problems, rather than reactive. That approach has been working well, he said. That’s also the thinking of new Bremerton Police Chief Steve Strachan, who has targeted “frequent fliers.”

With Marti’s promotion, all of Kitsap’s cities now have new police chiefs. Steve Strachan, former King County sheriff, was appointed Bremerton’s chief in February. Matthew Hamner of Indiana was hired as Bainbridge Police chief last week.

Reach the Port Orchard Police Department at (360) 876-1700

Local police departments send message to criminals

Kitsap County police departments have a message for criminals: We’re watching you. We’re on the lookout, and we’re unified to fight crime.

Police departments from Port Orchard, Bremerton, Poulsbo and Bainbridge Island, as well as Kitsap County Sheriff’s deputies, are participating in National Night Out, an anti-crime initiative that began 28 years ago and is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch. (See list of events below.)

The National Night Out campaign involves citizens, law enforcement agencies, civic groups, businesses, neighborhood organizations and local officials from more than 15,000 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide. In all, more 37 million people participated in National Night Out 2010.

The event is intended to:

* Heighten crime and drug prevention awareness
* Generate support for, and participation in, local anti-crime programs
* Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships
* Send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

Different communities have their own agendas. Here’s what’s happening in Kitsap County, all on Tuesday.

Port Orchard Police Department will observe National Night out with free food, music from the Greenbriar Project and informational booths, 6 to 9 p.m. at the Port Orchard Marina/ Gazebo Park off Bay Street. The Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office will have a booth at this event. Contact: Officer Wheeler, POPD, (360) 876-1700.

Bainbridge Island Police Department will partner with local merchants to provide food and entertainment from The Hometown band, along with informational booths, 6 to 9 p.m. at the Town Square, located between City Hall and Bainbridge Performing Arts.

The Poulsbo Police Department will hold its National Night Out Event from 4 to 8 p.m. at the town’s waterfront park, featuring booths, police cars and boats on display and a meet-and-greet with local law enforcement.

The Bremerton Police Department will hold a block party-style event from 4:30 to 8 p.m. at Viewcrest Village Apartments, 3401 Spruce Avenue. Police officers and firefighters from Bremerton Fire Department will be there. Kids activities include a learn-to-fish booth.

I’m Just Sayin’ …

So I’m working on this story for Wednesday about “Loose Ends” from 2010, in which we follow up on stories run earlier in the year. One is about this MTV video shot in Bremerton (at Skateland roller rink), and there’s this Port Orchard Police Department patrol cruiser in a couple of shots. Way to muscle in on Bremerton’s turf, POPD. … I’m just sayin’ …

In other Bremerton news, there is a dead dog in the parking lot off Warren and 4th Street.

We were alerted to the canine carrion by reporter Tristan Baurick, whose mother lives nearby. Tristan, formerly a freelancer covering Banbridge Island, joined our staff at the end of November, replacing Derek Sheppard, who went to make videos for Bastyr University in Seattle. Six degrees of separation and all that jazz.

Tristan described the hapless animal as “post-apocalyptic.” Now there’s a writer for you. “This dog has been there for a long time. It’s kind of being picked apart. … It’s pretty disgusting,” he said. Which reminds me of that old Loudon Wainwright song …

The dog did not appear to have been abused, Tristan said, just ignored. To the Kitsap Humane Society’s credit, once Tristan alerted them to the dog, they quickly agreed to remove the carcass.

Also today in Bremerton, I understand, the city’s latest sculpture is being installed. Is there a connection? Probably not. I’m just sayin’ …