CRIME WATCH: Helicopter search; stolen car

October 19th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Crime, Helicopter, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 1 Comment »

Two notes tonight:

HELICOPTER: If you noticed Guardian One circling north White Center for a while earlier this evening – we didn’t know what that as about until we got a tip about a sizable response in the O’Reilly Auto Parts lot at 17th/Roxbury. There, we were able to talk briefly to a King County Sheriff’s Office sergeant; he told us they’re looking for a “fugitive” but would not elaborate further, aside from confirming that the helicopter presence was related. We’ll update if we find out more. (Added 9:10 pm: KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Ryan Abbott says the person they were seeking is “a homicide suspect wanted out of Seattle.”)

STOLEN CAR: Reported by Byron:

Our red 2007 Honda Civic 4-door, license plate 867WSD, was stolen from our driveway. Sometime between 9pm last night and 11:15 am this morning. (10600 block of) 27th Ave. SW. There’s a car seat in the back and a brand new Yakima rack and kayak carrier on the roof.

If you see it, call 911.

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Election in the spotlight as public-safety leaders visit North Highline Unincorporated Area Council’s first online meeting

October 11th, 2020 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, North Highline Fire District, North Highline UAC, White Center news 1 Comment »

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

The North Highline Unincorporated Area Council has finally arrived in the world of online meetings, and the first one, this past Thursday night, was as info-packed as their in-person meetings have historically been.

Though this one spotlighted public safety, with leaders from the North Highline Fire District and King County Sheriff’s Office, the real theme was the November 3rd election, with both departments having a lot at stake in ballot measures on which you will be voting.

NORTH HIGHLINE FIRE DISTRICT BENEFIT CHARGE: Assistant chief Ray Pettigrew opened by noting he has been with affiliated Fire District 2 for 35 years, and explained how the two districts consolidated at the start of last year after many years of cooperation.

He talked about the “benefit charge” changing the way NHFD is funded, starting six years ago after its 2014 passage, to take care of the problem with tax-exempt properties not contributing to the district funding. And he listed everything it’s enabled, as voters get ready to decide whether to renew it for 10 years. The charge “spread the cost out, made it more equitable,” Pettigrew explained, and led to a small decrease in what homeowners pay. The charge enabled the consolidation, and also led to a rating agency upgrading the department’s rating, which is good news for property owners’ insurance rates – the rating is now a 3 (1 is the best). The department also was able to buy two new fire engines that are based at Station 18. “We’re a very busy fire department,” with 11,000+ calls last year, he said, and the engines that were replaced had a lot of miles on them.

The stable funding also has enabled them to station an aid car at Station 18 most days – “it increases our ability to answer emergency calls by almost 50 percent.” They’ve upgraded air packs, and added a public educator, too. Also: A local firefighter is helping with the COVID-19 testing area that has been opened in Tukwila; Pettigrew said they were looking for other sites, maybe even White Center, but couldn’t find an available property. King County is reimbursing them for the firefighter’s work. Last but not least, they’re working on an “FD CARES” response unit – “usually an SUV” with a firefighter and nurse or social worker – to answer certain kinds of “low-acuity calls and works with the person to address their needs in a more appropriate manner.” King County Public Health has provided some funding for this. They’re hoping to have the unit up and running early next year. “We think we’ve been very good stewards of your tax dollars,” summarized Pettigrew, pitching for the renewal.

What if it’s not approved? asked NHUAC’s Barbara Dobkin. Reply: The property tax rate would go back up, and the FD would have to re-evaluate what it’s doing. What’s the rate and is it different from the last one? It’s been fairly consistent and is expected to continue that way – “approximately $1.50 per thousand” (dollars of property valuation).

KING COUNTY SHERIFF: KCSO sent several reps to the meeting, starting with the sheriff herself, Mitzi Johanknecht.

She talked about the every-decade county-charter-amending process. Two amendments on the November 3rd ballot would affect KCSO: Amendment #5, which would change the sheriff back to an appointed, rather than elected, position, more than 20 years after the previous change. She’s the fifth elected sheriff, in her first term, which started in early 2018. If Amendment #5 passes, the County Executive would appoint the sheriff, with County Council approval. Then the council put Amendment #6 on the ballot – “having an elected sheriff, but with conditions … that the King County Council would create an ordinance … that determines the roles and responsibilities of the sheriff.” Currently, state laws regulates sheriffs’ roles.

Dobkin mentioned hearing County Executive Dow Constantine talk about the measure on a podcast and say that since people who aren’t in the sheriff’s jurisdiction get to vote for them, changing the law made more sense. Johanknecht noted that other countywide officials are voted on by all county voters too. But, she noted, KCSO does have countywide responsibilities – Metro and Sound Transit policing, among other things. “I also think it’s important that if you’re voting for a sheriff, the sheriff should have a standalone opportunity to represent you.”

If it went to an appointed position, might that lead to cuts/changes? Johanknecht said the COVID-19 crunch has already required some cuts, so she cut some vacant positions, “the least amount of FTEs possible” so it wouldn’t harm 911 response and crime-solving. NHUAC’s Liz Giba said she’d heard the marijuana-tax money had been pulled from KCSO – was that true? The sheriff said that’s a complicated issue but it’s not resulting in any cuts/changes. She also noted that 58 percent of the KCSO budget is revenue-backed – maybe the only county agency that brings in this much money helping cover its budget.

What sort of anti-racism reforms has KCSO been working on? The sheriff said reform is one of the major things she ran to accomplish. She says her deputies now have “less-lethal tools” and that they’ve developed new policies for the critical-incident review board, plus they’ve been training in de-escalation and crisis intervention – 48 hours of the latter, “years ahead of what the state is going to demand.” They’ve also gone through implicit-bias training, and are wrapping up investigations of social-media posts that drew attention and concern. She said the issue has made her job “the most important thing I’ll ever do in my life.”

The budget includes full funding for the KCSO storefront locations, including White Center, she said, in response to a question.

She was followed by Manny Apostol, the new community-engagement specialist for KCSO, a longtime department employee. Listening to communities is his task – here are the slides outlining what he’ll do:

He was asked how he’s working on rebuilding trust with Southeast Asian communities in the wake of the Tommy Le killing. He said he’s been reaching out to groups.

STOREFRONT DEPUTY BILL KENNAMER: He talked about a problem house in the 1800 block of SW 98th that’s finally been cleared out – the eviction moratorium pushed the handling of the situation back several months. They were evicted “due to the criminal activity associated with the house,” he said. “That was the worst house in White Center right now,” he said. Among other things, one of the people associated with the house “was a murder suspect with a $2 million warrant.” Kennamer said one neighbor told him he’s had the first night in a long time that he wasn’t awakened by some trouble at that house. But there are others, it was noted.

Other wide-ranging discussion included the murals on many businesses being a graffiti-vandalism deterrent.

Dobkin also mentioned traffic issues diverting off Roxbury, which in turn is a lot busier because of the West Seattle Bridge closure. Kennamer agreed, “The traffic is absolutely ridiculous” and “going to be frustrating for a very long time.” Dobkin said it’s a safety issue with people “flying through our streets” on streets without sidewalks. Kennamer said he’d reach out to Roads – maybe a stop sign on 106th could help, “so they can’t pick up so much speed.” He also advised “don’t walk with your back to traffic.”

What about mail theft? Kennamer was asked. “If you see it, call us quick, because they’re gone quick.” Locking mailboxes can help but some people even use saws to cut them down.

MAJOR JEFF FLOHR: He’s now the KCSO Southwest Precinct commander. The area always has at least two deputies on duty, he said. He started out talking about the “use of force” dashboard, which he said would show “how rarely we use force.”

His main topic: White Center is one of the areas where KCSO is about to run a pilot camera program – in-car and body-worn. 10 deputies will be using the cameras for 90 days, working in different areas.

He went over the functions and policies they’ll be testing.

At the end, they’ll evaluate and document what they learned, “identify the features we want if funding is provided for full implementation” – right now, it’s NOT budgeted.

Flohr also said they’re “ready to go” with the LEAD program in White Center/North Highline, just waiting for some documentation with a service provider to be finalized. Asked to refresh memories, he gave an example – say deputies respond to a mentally ill shoplifter, they deal with a team of people trying to get that person help, “trying to keep people out of jail and get them the services they need … it’s exactly what the communities have been asking for, they just don’t know that we’ve been doing it.”

CHIEF JESSE ANDERSON: He talked about “8 can’t wait” policy changes: No chokeholds unless it’s a force-type situation “last resort,” de-escalation, requiring warning before shooting, duty to intervene, no shooting at moving vehicles (unless deputies are trapped), among other things.

Regarding policing reform, he acknowledged that many of their calls are more “quality of life issues” than crimes, but he also said staffing is at the lowest level it could be while still allowing them to respond to calls.

NEXT MEETING: NHUAC plans to continue via Zoom for the foreseeable future – the meetings are usually first Thursdays at 7 pm – watch nhuac.org for updates. Next time, the North Highline Sub-Area Plan will be a spotlighted topic.

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THURSDAY: Public safety spotlighted @ North Highline Unincorporated Area Council

October 6th, 2020 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, North Highline Fire District, North Highline UAC, White Center news 4 Comments »

As previously mentioned, the first pandemic-era North Highline Unincorporated Area Council is set for this Thursday, October 8th, online. Here’s the announcement with full details:

The Opportunity to Be Informed, Be Involved and Be Heard!

Where? North Highline Unincorporated Area Council Meeting

When? Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 7 pm

How? (Here’s the link)
Meeting ID: 946 9398 2872
Passcode: 179306

Dial-in: 253 215 8782
Meeting ID: 946 9398 2872
Passcode: 179306

NHUAC Is Baaaack!!! NHUAC’s first meeting since February will be held Thursday, October 8th at 7 pm. It is going to be a virtual meeting via Zoom so it will be different, but the goal will be the same: To provide an opportunity to be informed, involved, and heard about issues affecting North Highline.

COVID-19 has changed our lives. We have been staying home to stay safe. Meanwhile, what has been happening in White Center, Top Hat, Boulevard Park, other North Highline neighborhoods? What is about to happen? To help us catch up and prepare, NHUAC’s October 8th meeting will focus on our first responders.

Have you ever called 911 because of a fire or medical emergency? If so, you know how important the North Highline Fire District is to our community. Assistant Chief Ray Pettigrew will discuss NHFD and ballot measure NHFD Proposition No. 1 to continue the Benefit Charge.

The climate around policing has gotten intense. King County’s response requires our serious consideration. If Charter Amendment No. 5 passes, voters will give up their right to vote for Sheriff. According to the King County Elections website, “The next sheriff would be appointed by the county executive and confirmed by the county council.” Charter Amendment No. 6 would transfer much of the Sheriff’s control over KCSO to the King County Executive (currently Dow Constantine) and the King County Council.

Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht will discuss these issues and others specific to North Highline. We will also be joined by Chief Jesse Anderson, who recently left Precinct 4 to become head of the Patrol Operations Division. Major Jeffrey Flohr, Precinct 4’s new Commander; Manny Apostol, KCSO’s new Community Engagement Specialist; and last, but certainly not least, Deputy Bill Kennamer will also join us.

Knowledge is power.

Do not miss this chance to learn and help make North Highline a safer place!

October 8, 2020 at 7 pm – Tell a Neighbor

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ELECTION 2020: Appointed sheriff? And 6 other questions to decide in November

July 24th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Election, King County, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 1 Comment »

Should the King County Sheriff go back to being appointed rather than elected? That’s one of the proposed charter amendments going to voters this November, as announced:

With the approval of three more measures on Tuesday, the King County will now send seven county charter amendments to the November ballot for a public vote to approve or reject them. The Charter Review Commission recommended 11 amendments in its final report last year, though it wasn’t expected that all the amendments would be considered by voters in the same year.

The following amendments will now appear on the November ballot:

=Specify that inquests should be performed for deaths in the county’s jails and provide the family of the deceased with legal representation during the inquest process.
=Include subpoena power for the King County Office of Law Enforcement Oversight to aid in its investigations.
-Make the King County Sheriff an appointed rather than elected position.
-Remove the Charter impediment to the sale of county-owned property below market value for affordable housing purposes, in accordance with recent amendments to state law.
-Update the Charter to change references to “citizen” to “resident” or “public” depending on the circumstances. This change would address several references in the Charter to the concept of citizenship being necessary to access certain aspects of county government.
-Prohibit discrimination in county employment and contracting based on someone’s status as a family caregiver, military status, or status as a veteran who was honorably discharged or discharged solely as a result of sexual orientation or gender identity.

“I am pleased to give the voters the opportunity to decide on these amendments to the way our county is governed,” said Council Chair Claudia Balducci.

The seventh amendment set for a vote in the fall was not a recommendation of the Charter Review Commission, but instead was a council-proposed amendment. This amendment would allow the Council to establish the duties of the Sheriff’s Office. Those duties are currently set by the charter.

The sheriff was appointed until voters decided in 1996 to change that.

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UPDATE: Deputies investigating White Center shooting

July 21st, 2020 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news Comments Off on UPDATE: Deputies investigating White Center shooting

5:46 PM: King County Sheriff’s Office deputies are in the 10400 block of 2nd SW, investigating a shooting. They say the victim was shot in the hand by someone who fled and is still being sought. No other details so far.

6:20 PM: KCSO says the victim also had left the scene before investigators arrived; they are checking with area hospitals.

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UPDATE: Another White Center shooting

May 7th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 9 Comments »

12:59 AM: For the second time in less than 7 hours, somebody’s been shot in White Center. Only very early information so far – deputies are out searching the area. The dispatch was to 16th/100th. No further details yet.

1:28 AM: The King County Sheriff’s Office confirms one person was shot, a male victim reported to be in stable condition and taken to Harborview Medical Center. No one’s in custody. The location is now descrbed as the 10600 block of 16th SW.

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UPDATE: Deadly shooting near White Center Library

May 6th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 13 Comments »

6:16 PM: 107th is blocked just east of the White Center Library as deputies investigate a deadly shooting. KCSO says the victim is a 20-tear-old man. No other details yet.

8:29 PM: We checked with KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Ryan Abbott, who says this is all they currently know:

5:20 PM, a deputy was in the area of SW 107 near the 1400 BLK on an unrelated call when he heard multiple gunshots. As he came around the corner on 14 AVE SW he saw a male running away from the scene and a second male lying on the ground. He lost sight of the suspect and put out the last known direction of travel and began life-saving measures on the victim. Medic 1 arrived on scene and continued life-saving measures but the victim died at the scene, a 20 year old male. Witnesses stated the suspect fled in a vehicle, unknown description. Major Crimes is on scene investigating.

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WHITE CENTER CRIME WATCH: Robbery suspects arrested

April 14th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 2 Comments »

Thanks for the tips. That was part of the scene at 16th/112th as a King County Sheriff’s Office search wrapped up early this morning. We asked KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Ryan Abbott for details:

The Ladybug Espresso at S. 126/ Des Moines Memorial Drive was robbed at gunpoint at 5:20 AM by two suspects who fled in a car. A short time later, the same suspect car crashed into a fence at SW 112/ 16 AVE SW; the suspects fled on foot. They were both caught a short time later by deputies and arrested. They were both booked into Jail for investigation of robbery.

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VIDEO: Guardian One helicopter assists with auto-theft suspect in Top Hat

February 26th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Helicopter, King County Sheriff's Office, Top Hat, White Center news Comments Off on VIDEO: Guardian One helicopter assists with auto-theft suspect in Top Hat

We got a few questions about the Guardian One helicopter’s presence over east White Center/Top Hat this afternoon. That video shows what it was all about – assisting as King County Sheriff’s Deputies on the ground chased after an auto-theft suspect. The accompanying summary:

The suspect initially evaded police and then was relocated at a house. The suspect got into the passenger seat of a vehicle and then ran from police again when confronted. Guardian 1 tracked the suspect with the FLIR camera and he was taken into custody in a backyard shed.

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DUI suspected in car-goes-perpendicular North Highline crash

January 19th, 2020 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news Comments Off on DUI suspected in car-goes-perpendicular North Highline crash

(King County Sheriff’s Office photo)

The King County Sheriff’s Office suspects “alcohol (was) a factor” in this crash in unincorporated North Highline today. It happened in the 10400 block of 8th Avenue South and injured the two men in the car, both in their 20s. KCSO says the driver was taken to a hospital “in serious condition,” while the passenger had minor injuries. No other vehicles, or people, involved.

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UPDATE: Driver hits pedestrian on 16th SW

November 16th, 2019 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 5 Comments »

(WCN photo)

6:38 PM: Thanks for the tips (206-293-6302 text or voice any time). 16th is blocked north of 107th in White Center after a driver hit a pedestrian. Deputies told us at the scene that the male victim was taken to Harborview.

10:47 PM: KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Ryan Abbott tells us the man who was hit in a crosswalk is 50 years old. He was assessed as being in serious condition when taken to the hospital; the crash investigation continues, but the road has reopened.

ADDED MONDAY:
As noted in a comment, the victim’s family says he is 66 years old and in critical condition. A crowdfunding campaign is under way to help.

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VIDEO: The arrest that followed helicopter search over White Center

November 5th, 2019 Tracy Posted in Crime, Helicopter, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news Comments Off on VIDEO: The arrest that followed helicopter search over White Center

We got some questions Monday afternoon about a Guardian One search over White Center. KCSO answered those questions with this update today:

On 11/4/2019, at about 2:50 PM, Deputy Hancock located an occupied stolen vehicle near the 9800 block of 13 Avenue SW in White Center. The driver of the vehicle got out and fled through an apartment complex.

Guardian 1 took to the air, and Deputy Gervacio grabbed his K9 partner “Paco” to assist in the hunt for the suspect. Guardian One noticed a suspicious hot spot, and K9 Paco found the suspect hiding at the bottom of a rock wall.

The 43 year old male, from White Center, was arrested without incident. The suspect denied he had driven the stolen car, but deputies were able to locate video of the suspect behind the wheel, wearing a beige jacket – which was found hidden inside the car.

KCSO adds that the suspect “was booked into King County jail on several outstanding warrants. The vehicle theft investigation remains open.”

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WHITE CENTER CRIME WATCH: Air and ground search for a robber

October 25th, 2019 Tracy Posted in Businesses, Crime, Helicopter, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 1 Comment »

(Also posted to partner site West Seattle Blog)

Took a while to get the details on this but for everyone who asked why the Guardian One helicopter was looping over White Center and South Delridge for a while – it was part of the search for someone who robbed an employee of Proletariat Pizza (9622 16th SW) in the alley behind the business, says King County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. Ryan Abbott. He says a robber armed with a handgun took the employee’s wallet and cell phone “and fled northbound into Seattle on a bike.”

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UPDATE: Shooting in Top Hat; victim found in North Burien

October 11th, 2019 Tracy Posted in Burien, Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, Top Hat, White Center news 1 Comment »

7:06 PM: Got a few questions about helicopters just south of White Center. The King County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a shooting in North Burien, 2nd SW and SW 120th [map]. KCSO says a 27-year-old man was “shot in the face” and was taken to Harborview in serious condition. No other info yet.

11:35 PM: Update from KCSO: “Deputies were able to determine actual shooting took place in the Top Hat area of unincorporated King County and the victim fled to a house in Burien. This entire incident was over a vehicle. The suspect is still outstanding.”

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THURSDAY: Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht and more @ October’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting

September 29th, 2019 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, North Highline UAC, White Center news 3 Comments »

(WCN photo from September 2018)

Got a crime/safety concern? Bring it to the Sheriff herself on Thursday (October 3rd) at the next meeting of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council. Just announced:

North Highline Unincorporated Area Council Meeting

When: Thursday, October 3, 2019 at 7 pm
Where: North Highline Fire Station at 1243 SW 112th Street in White Center
(Parking and Entrance are in the Back of the Station)

The Opportunity to Be Informed, Be Involved and Be Heard!

Were you at last month’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting? If so, you know that our community is struggling. Fear, anger, and frustration are felt by many. Deputy Bill Kennamer and Major Jesse Anderson of the King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) spent much of the meeting listening to concerns and responding with information about what is being done by KCSO to try to deal with chronic issues found in our community.

This month, we will be joined by the woman who puts Sheriff in KCSO. It’s been a little over a year since Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht last joined us. Sheriff Mitzi has been with KCSO since 1985. Her history with KCSO includes being the first woman to command KCSO’s SWAT team and serving as the Commander of Precinct 4. She was elected in 2017. This will be a good opportunity to learn about her plans, challenges and goals. Do you have questions and thoughts you’d like to share with Sheriff Johanknecht? This is your chance!

The Comprehensive Plan is King County’s long-range policy for land use, regulations and regional services such as housing, transit, parks, trails and open space. After nearly two decades, King County has initiated a new subarea planning program for each of the county’s local service areas, including North Highline. This planning includes an assessment of the area’s land use goals, population changes, new development, and other demographic and socioeconomic indicators.

King County’s David Goodman and Mark Ellerbrook will share some of the plans King County has been working on for our community, including our Subarea Plan and a micro-housing project. This will be an opportunity to ask questions and make comments about the long-term, far-reaching plans, which are sure to mold our environment and future.

Once again. White Center Storefront Deputy Bill Kennamer will update us with news and crime statistics from KCSO.

Then , the floor will be open for announcements.

Knowledge is power. Learn, share and help make our community a better place!

Thursday, October 3, 2019 at 7 pm

Bring a Friend!

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FYI: Crash investigation off 509

August 31st, 2019 Tracy Posted in Burien, Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, Traffic, White Center news 2 Comments »

If you’re headed southbound, an FYI from KCSO:

The photo and update are via Twitter: “Collision investigation in Burien near S 128/ SB on-ramp 509. Suspect vehicle fleeing a shoplift struck a truck at a high rate of speed. Police were not involved prior to the collision. Suspect vehicle passenger critical injuries. EB S 128 will be closed while MARR investigates.”

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Another Night Out 2019 scene: 20th SW party

August 8th, 2019 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, Neighborhoods, White Center news Comments Off on Another Night Out 2019 scene: 20th SW party

More Night Out 2019 scenes, in photos and a report from Gill Loring:

Thanks to Ron Johnson on the block of 20th Ave. SW south of us we had a great August Night Out Against Crime. Some newcomers including a three week old baby.

The Sheriff’s Dept. showed up with Major Anderson, the new Precinct 4 commander, along with the new Community Engagement Specialist, Tierre Larose, who has been here a month, having moved from Ohio . He does like our weather!

Deputy Hancock can be seen addressing the well fed crowd telling them to call 911 any time you see something out of the ordinary. Of course, the first representative of the Sheriff’s Dept. to arrive was CSO, Peter Truong.

Great crowd, great food and perfect weather. What a great annual event.

Night Out is always the first Tuesday in August – you can start planning for next year now!

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If you wondered about the helicopter ….

July 24th, 2019 Tracy Posted in Crime, Helicopter, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news Comments Off on If you wondered about the helicopter ….

… we went out looking but Guardian One had moved on and we were unable to locate deputies on the ground. G-1 has since tweeted that it was assisting in the search for a hit-run suspect near 2nd SW and SW 102nd.

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UPDATE: Another shooting in White Center

July 5th, 2019 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 1 Comment »

1:10 AM: From radio communication: King County deputies are investigating a shooting reported to have happened ear 4th SW and SW 106th. The victim is at the hospital and his injuries are not believed, so far, to be life-threatening. That’s all we’ve heard so far.

10:10 PM: We followed up with KCSO’s Sgt. Ryan Abbott, who tells us tonight:

On 7/5/19 at 12:45 AM, near the 10600 block of 4th Ave SW, a male was shot by a suspect in a vehicle who drove by a house. The male was shot on his side. He had a friend drive him to Highline Hospital prior to Police arrival at the scene. The victim was then transported to HMC; his injuries were not life threatening. People on scene were not very cooperative. This case is open and being followed up by Major Crimes.

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4TH OF JULY: Extra fireworks enforcement

July 3rd, 2019 Tracy Posted in Holidays, King County Sheriff's Office, Safety, White Center news 5 Comments »

From the King County Sheriff’s Office:

King County’s unincorporated communities will get assistance in keeping the Fourth of July holiday safe, with a $25,000 boost in Sheriff funding for increased patrols. Metropolitan King County Councilmembers Joe McDermott, Larry Gossett, and Reagan Dunn announced that funds for the King County Sheriff’s Office were prioritized in the King County Budget. These patrols will be on the lookout for illegal fireworks usage during the Fourth of July holiday.

“With growing concerns over public safety, these funds for the Sheriff are intended to ensure a safe 4th of July celebration for everyone,” said McDermott.

“It is important that residents of our unincorporated areas can celebrate our Independence Day, but do it in a safe and legal manner,” said Gossett. “These increased patrols will go a long way to ensure that.”

$25,000 was prioritized to cover 300 hours of extra emphasis which will be split between the three sheriff precincts; Northeast, Southeast, and Southwest King County. The intent of this action is to ensure deputies can better respond to 911 calls made in response to illegal fireworks.

“My first priority as folks celebrate Independence Day is to help ensure the safety of unincorporated residents,” said Dunn. “I worked hard with my colleagues to get the additional funding that the Sheriff’s Office needed in order to provide a heavier police presence leading up to and on the Fourth.”

“The additional funding that we received from the King County Council is being used to proactively respond to illegal firework calls,” said Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht. “We want everyone to have a safe 4th of July.”

In unincorporated King County, fireworks may only be discharged on July 4 from 9 a.m. to midnight. Residents are encouraged to act responsibly when using fireworks. Examples of legal fireworks include cone fountains, smoke devices, mines/shells/cakes, wheels, parachutes, roman candles, ground spinners, cylindrical fountains, sparklers, and poppers.

There are a number of free fireworks shows located around King County. The cities of Bellevue, Auburn, Carnation, Des Moines, Federal Way, Kent, Kenmore, Maple Valley, Mercer Island, Newcastle, Mountlake Terrace, Renton, Sammamish, Seattle, and Tukwila are all hosting public fireworks displays on July 4th. (Here’s a list.)

For more information about how to use fireworks safely and legally, go here.

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