Fallout from my WSP video

GMA

When I uploaded the video from WSP’s speed enforcement in Wenatchee earlier this week I had no idea it would blow up to become a national news story. I was hoping that others would share my frustration after hearing officers running late to a conference blowing through a speed trap 20+mph over the limit without being stopped.

Apparently this video struck a nerve with folks. It was first picked up by Komo here in Seattle, then KCPQ, then Kiro. I ended up getting phone calls from news agencies all over the country asking about the video.

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I agreed to do on-camera interviews with ABC World News and Kiro to discuss my thoughts on the incident.  After seeing me on TV I received a lot of texts/phone calls from friends telling me that I’d better avoid driving for a while, basically implying that WSP will want to “get even” for making them look bad.

Friday I was contacted by an attorney in Wenatchee that kindly offered to represent any motorist that received a citation at that speed enforcement operation for free.  Attorney John Brangwin sounds like he’s very familiar with WSP and defending those who receive tickets in these types of situations. If you received a citation at this location and want to talk with John, his phone number is 509-663-3915, or visit his firm’s website for more contact info.

His services may not be needed however- Friday the news announced that WSP was “voiding” all the citations issued at that location for the two days that the conference attendees were allowed to pass through without receiving tickets.tickets voided

The incident was embarrassing to the State Patrol and they will be making changes to how they handle patrol cars that are speeding through their enforcement areas in the future.

Mark my words on this one- they will encrypt their air to ground communications sometime in the near future. They will cite “public-safety” or “privacy” as their reason, but the real reason is they don’t like having something like this being brought out to make them look bad.

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Washington State Patrol aircraft catches several police cars speeding- and does nothing.

I had to make a run to Wenatchee today for work. It was an uneventful drive over highway 2, until I got a couple miles out of Wenatchee. I had been following a police car over the pass from Lynden, which was a little odd considering that’s up in Whatcom county. As we got close to Wenatchee a WSP patrol car came up on my bumper, both the Lynden car and I moved aside for him to pass. It passed me about the time we entered a speed emphasis area of highway 2. I had my scanner so I flipped over to WSP car to car frequency and picked up the aircraft chatter with the ground units.

As I continued on my way past the speed trap “emphasis” I could hear the pilot NOT calling out the speeds of the speeders- asking ground units to confirm if they were patrol cars or not. He said he tracked several patrol cars doing “over 80″ in the 60 mph zone, but they stopped none of them. It became clear that all these speeding police cars were on their way to a “drug recognition expert” conference at Lake Chelan. Apparently that’s good enough for WSP, they let them all through without stopping any of them. (They did stop a motorcyclist- but he also was heading to the conference and it sounded like he got a pass too- for 78 mph and cutting off a car).

Check out the video and see for yourself- classic case of “do as I say, not as I do”

Military Equipment Sent to Washington State Law Enforcement Agencies

hummveeAnyone watching the national news over the past week or so has probably seen some video of protestors facing off against heavily armed police in Ferguson, Missouri. Some were surprised that a relatively small police department had such military grade hardware.

Many of the smaller state and county law enforcement agencies received military equipment from under the 1033 Defense Department program from 2011 to 2013.

Here is a list of Washington state agencies that received military gear from 2011-13:

The total value of this equipment was $10,165,752.23. Most expensive item I could find was a “Helicopter, Utility” with a value of $922,704.  Also found several “Mine Resistant Vehicles” with a total value of $2,798,000 were sent to Washington state during that period. Handy for community policing.

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Seattle area law enforcement ask people to “Tweet Smart” during emergencies

Just got this notice from WSP- asking folks to exercise a little self control when things go wrong.

Joint Media Release
Seattle-Area Law Enforcement Agencies

**For Immediate Release**
July 29, 2014
Contacts: See Below

Local police ask you to “Tweet Smart” during emergencies

(Seattle)—Social media has become the tool of choice for sharing life events, from mundane things like family dinners to major, life-changing, emergencies

Seattle-area law enforcement agencies are asking you to “Tweet Smart” during emergencies, to help public safety responders keep you safe.

“Please don’t tweet about the movements of responding police officers, or post pictures,” said Washington State Patrol Chief John R. Batiste. “Sooner or later we’ll have an emergency where the suspect is watching social media. That could allow an offender to escape, or possibly even cost an officer their life.”

The agencies’ concern began to grow after watching events in Moncton, New Brunswick and Portland, OR.

“We watched these incidents as they unfolded on social media. In both cases, there was real-time information posted by individuals that could have compromised officer safety,” said Chief Bret Farrar of the Lakewood Police Department.

Along with not posting information about police movements, posting pictures can also put officers at risk.

“If it’s safe to do so, go ahead and take pictures of our deputies in action,” said Kitsap County Sheriff Steve Boyer. “We’re very proud of the work they do. We’d simply ask that you wait to post those pictures until the emergency is over.”

In fact, pictures posted after the emergency can help investigators determine what happened as the event unfolded.

Here are some suggested dos and don’ts for the use of social media in emergencies.
· Do get to a safe place and call 911 if possible. Live telephone calls to dispatchers are law enforcement’s best source of real-time information in an emergency.
· Do feel free to let family and friends know you’ve reached safety.
· Do feel free to warn friends if you have first-hand knowledge of a developing emergency.
· Don’t tweet or post about the movements of police, or post pictures of officers. Even what seems like vague information could be used by a criminal familiar with the area.
· Don’t endanger yourself to get a picture, no matter how compelling.
· Don’t spread rumors. If you’re not sure, don’t post, tweet or re-tweet.
· Do feel free to tweet about the response and post pictures after the emergency is over.

Although the term is “Tweet Smart,” the advice applies to whatever is your preferred social media platform.

Participating Agencies:
Bellevue Police Department
Des Moines Police Department
Federal Way Police Department
King County Sheriff’s Office
Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office
Lakewood Police Department
Seattle Police Department
Washington State Patrol

Sample footage from Vievu2

Here’s some sample footage from Vievu’s new wearable video camera, at this point this is as much of a review I can do- they have not finished the iOS app to allow streaming and control of the camera yet.

This short clip shows the quality of video this small camera can produce. Not as good as an iPhone, but considering it’s size it’s decent.

Vievu finally ships the Vievu2 wearable camera

vievu2 finally shipsAlmost a year ago I backed a project on indiegogo for a wearable camera from a Seattle company, Vievu. The camera was to ship about 9 months ago, but was delayed for various reasons. Anyhow the camera was delivered today via UPS and I’m planning on giving it a good rundown over the next couple days and doing a full review on here. Stay tuned.

Video of Marine One landing at Arlington, WA

Couple clips I shot yesterday of Marine One arriving at Arlington, WA, and the presidential motorcade leaving:

President Obama visits Arlington, Washington

marine one at arlington wa airport

President Obama paid a visit to Arlington and Oso, Washington Tuesday on his way to Asia. Anytime the president is on the move it’s a big deal, but rolling his hardware into a small town like Arlington is pretty unusual. I grabbed a few photos and video of his visit. There were a ton of resources out in Arlington and up highway 530 to support this trip.

Here’s a few shots from his visit:

Autotrader.com vs Craigslist for selling a car, my experience

I decided to sell my 2007 Avalanche a few weeks ago, it’s been a good rig but I no longer drive it enough to justify keeping it. I decided I’d try autotrader.com, since they claim to reach millions of serious buyers, and will run the ad until the car sells. I chose the “deluxe ad” and picked the “premium listing” option bringing the total to $79.00.

I uploaded the pics and wrote up a decent description:

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I figured it would take a couple days to get some type of activity on it, but after two weeks I had not received one phone call or email from prospective buyers. Autotrader’s “ad manager” lets you see the activity on your listing. Here’s how my ad looked after 14 days of “premium/deluxe” listing:

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Needless to say I was less than impressed with the Autotrader experience. My truck came up in searches over 800 times, but only 14 people clicked on my ad. And not one of those folks chose to contact me via email or phone.

So I decided to list the same photos and description on Craigslist, which has a more reasonable pricing structure- free.

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Within one day I had emails requesting details on the truck. Being Craigslist I had some ridiculous offers, both cash and part trades for crap I had no interest in. But within 4 days I met with a buyer, who made a reasonable offer and the Avalanche was sold.

If I were to do it over again I would have started with the Craigslist ad for 2-3 weeks, then attempted Autotrader if I wasn’t getting any bites. I was pretty disappointed that I optioned up for their best ad listing, and received zero response for the 80 bucks it cost.

Tulip traffic sucks.

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I had to run up to Bellingham saturday to meet my accountant, it was a nice day and figured it would be a good drive.

Sadly I forgot about the tulip festival and ended up spending an hour sitting in stop and go traffic on I-5.

I’ve seen the tulips once, and that was enough for me.