Category Archives: Local

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.

video camera setup

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”

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

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:

What’s up with the 04.23.2014 billboards?

20140412-204132.jpg Over the last couple months several of these billboards have popped up around Skagit and Whatcom county. Just a plain billboard with some green lines and the text “04.23.2014” in the center.

I can’t find any information via google searches for any big announcements or events scheduled for Wednesday, April 23, 2014. I’ve tried twitter and reddit but have not had anyone explain what the backstory is on these billboards.

Anyone have any info who/what is behind these billboards?

Car accident on Highway 9 and SR 530

Caught this on my way through Arlington this afternoon, second car accident at this intersection in about a week.

Marysville cracks down on panhandlers

marysville anti panhandler sign

I recently noticed this sign on 88th near state street in Marysville. This intersection has been a popular location for panhandlers, with the horrific traffic backups that occur here they have a captive audience to solicit cash. Too early to say if it’s working, but nobody was standing there with a cardboard sign when I snapped this photo.

Washington State man arrested for taking video of SWAT team from a public place

Always refreshing to see law enforcement interacting with public in a positive way. Yesterday a Yakima man decided to grab some video of the local SWAT team after hearing one of their flashbangs  pop off at a neighbor’s house. Seems like a reasonable thing to do, not everyday you get to see the para-military SWAT guys playing with their toys.

Apparently that was unacceptable to one of the gentlemen wearing a soldier’s costume. He arrested the man for obstruction, even though he was on public property and well within his rights. These guys are good at lobbing flashbangs and driving tanks around, just a bit rusty on the first amendment.

Warning signs posted on the Stillaguamish River

First time I’ve seen warning signs on the Stillaguamish river. Spotted this last night outside of Granite Falls. Probably a good idea, given the multiple tragedies in rivers and lakes this year.

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