Category Archives: news

Fallout from my WSP video


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 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.




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

Drowning at Lake Roesiger

Tragic, sad, horrible, and senseless. That sums up what happened in Lake Roesiger today when an 8 year old boy apparently drown while swimming.

Motorcade for fallen WSP Trooper Sean O’Connell

This morning the body of Washington State Patrol Trooper Sean O’Connell was transported from Skagit Valley Hospital to a funeral home in Everett. Well over 100 patrol cars and motorcycles formed up a motorcade to honor him. I grabbed some footage from the 12th Street overpass between Everett and Marysville.

3D Animation of the Skagit I-5 bridge collapse

Truck falls off I-5 during bridge collapse
It didn’t take the folks at TomoNews long to come up with a great 3D animation of the I-5 bridge collapse in Mount Vernon, check it out:

Exclusive Audio: Police Shoot Suicidal Man in Bothell Today.

Around 1:30 today a subject reportedly armed and suicidal was involved in a pursuit that began in Edmonds, ending with his vehicle being spiked and at least one officer opening fire on his vehicle. Subject was reportedly shot multiple times in the head and neck.

I obtained this scanner audio from Snohomish County Scanner, with his permission I am sharing it here: AUDIO: 10-26-12 Police Shoot Suicidal Man in Bothell

Note that this is edited audio and does not contain the entire radio traffic from the incident. 

Some key points in the audio:

7:24: Spikes deployed
7:37: Suspect vehicle stops
7:45: “Still Moving”
8:04: “Request Aid/Chaplin”
8:27: “Multiple Shots Fired into subject”

Thanks to Snohomish County Scanner for providing this audio.

Fire Mobilization Authorized for the #1 Canyon Fire – Chelan County

Just in from WSP:

***For Immediate Release***

Date: September 9, 2012
Contact: Deputy State Fire Marshal Melissa Gannie, Washington State Patrol
Phone: (253) 912-4932

Fire Mobilization Authorized for the #1 Canyon Fire – Chelan County

State fire assistance has been mobilized under the Washington State Fire Services Resource Mobilization Plan in support of local firefighters working to contain the #1 Canyon Fire located in #1 Canyon near Wenatchee, in Chelan County. Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste authorized the mobilization of state firefighting resources at 2:45 p.m., September 9, 2012, at the request of Chelan County Fire District #1.

The fire started on September 9, 2012, at approximately 2:00 p.m. and is burning in sage and grass.  The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.  The fire is an estimated 200 acres and growing rapidly. There are currently 40 homes that are under level 3 evacuations and an additional 100 under level 2 evacuations. Mobilization specialists from the Fire Protection Bureau have ordered six strike teams of Wildland engines to supplement the resources already fighting the fire.

The State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at Camp Murray has been activated to Phase II, to coordinate state assistance for the #1 Canyon Fire. Personnel from the Office of the State Fire Marshal will be on scene to coordinate dispatch of resources, and other personnel will staff the State EOC.

Under the State Fire Services Resource Mobilization Plan, the Fire Protection Bureau coordinates the initial dispatch and continued administrative oversight of resources and personnel for the duration of the incident. The Mobilization Plan is implemented to provide a process to quickly notify, assemble and deploy fire service personnel, equipment and other resources from around the state when fires, disasters or other events exceed the capacity of local jurisdictions. More information about the Washington State Fire Services Resource Mobilization Plan is available at:

Man shot in head at Arlington AMPM Gas Station

Red BMW that contained the victim parked in front of AMPM Gas Station

I was making my weekly run to the Angel of the Winds casino last night when I heard a call on the scanner for a male with gunshot wound to the head at the AMPM off Highway 530. Apparently there was some type of altercation at the Blue Stilly Park that spilled over to the AMPM.


Sounds like one subject in the red BMW was shot in the head, the shooter apparently fled the scene and so far there is not much detail about the suspect they are looking for. The AMPM has several security video cameras visible around the building so there is a good chance they might have some footage of the suspect.

The victim was transported in the medic rig to Everett Providence Hospital.

Lynnwood Police makes no secret of bulldozing state law on red light camera use

Someone contacted me today and sent me a link to an article in the Herald from 2011 regarding Lynnwood’s use of red light camera footage for investigations totally unrelated to traffic offenses, an apparent violation of Washington State law that forbids the use of that footage for anything but violations related to running a red light or speeding.

My favorite quote from the article is from Police Chief Steve Jensen, he said “his cops are using the cameras for investigations in ways he thinks most people in Lynnwood would support.” Well I guess if the majority of people in Lynnwood think it’s okay, screw Washington State law.

Maybe Seattle Police should let the cowboys from Lynnwood PD come down and work those two shooting investigations for them.

Here’s a link to the original article on Heraldnet:

Heraldnet Article

Fire Mobilization Authorized for Eastern Washington Fire

This just in from the State Fire Marshal:

Fire Mobilization Authorized for the Milepost 31 Fire

State fire assistance has been mobilized under the Washington State Fire Services Resource Mobilization Plan in support of local firefighters working to contain the Milepost 31 Fire, near the Grant and Adams County line along State Route 26. Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste authorized the mobilization of state firefighting resources on June 14, 2012, at 12:45 am at the request of Grant County Fire District 11 and Adams County Fire District 5.

The fire started at 2:44 pm on June 13, 2012. The cause of the fire is under investigation. The fire has grown to an estimated 1,500 acres. There is 1 residence and an outbuilding threatened by the fire. No evacuation orders have been established.

via Media Release – Washington State Patrol.