John Caulfield (253) 983-7703 • Fax (253)
City Manager


March 3, 2017


To: Mayor and members of the City Council

From: John J. Caulfield, City Manager 

Lakewood Police make history

All eyes are on the Lakewood Police Department as it embarks on a new program geared toward reducing the number of impaired drivers on the city’s roads.

The department is the first in the state to offer a phlebotomy, or blood draw, program where officers are certified to draw blood from a suspected impaired driver. The blood draw will occur in a designated room at police headquarters with the same equipment and procedures that would be found in a hospital.

Three factors drove the decision to pursue an in-house program:

  • A desire to increase driving under the influence convictions
  • Reduce DUI test refusals
  • Reduce the number of DUI cases that go to trial

“Over three years statistics show approximately 17 percent of drivers arrested for DUI refused a breath test,” Lakewood Police Chief Mike Zaro said of state statistics.

That number is higher in Lakewood, Zaro said, noting in the last three years Lakewood officers pursued blood draws on average 63 times a year.

That means arresting officers must obtain a search warrant and take the person to a hospital to have blood drawn to prove a person drove while intoxicated.

In some instances suspected drunk drivers, or those driving under the influence of drugs, aren’t tested because they refuse the breath test and hospital staff is unavailable to collect blood samples quickly after an arrest is made.

Breathalyzer tests only register a person’s blood alcohol content, not drugs. A blood test is the easiest way to determine a person’s level of drug intoxication.

“A significant amount of people are being brought to our area hospitals for the sole purpose of drawing blood,” Zaro said.

Lakewood Police hope by having certified officers on duty area emergency rooms will see a reduction in requests for blood draws, freeing medical staff up to respond to emergencies.

Read more here and watch the YouTube video of Chief Zaro demonstrating the blood draw .


Volunteer with Lakewood

Do you like to give back to the community? Are you looking to get better connected to Lakewood? Have some free time you want to fill? Consider joining one of the city's community advisory boards . Board members often have experience or expertise they can lend, can meet on a monthly basis and can commit to serving a full term, or longer. Descriptions of boards with openings:

Landmarks and Heritage Advisory Board.  Members identify and actively encourage the conservation of historic resources by establishing and maintaining a register of historic landmarks, landmark sites, historic special review districts, and conservation districts, among other responsibilities. Two vacancies, term runs through 12/31/2019.

Community Services Advisory Board . Members conduct public hearings and make recommendations to the City Council on community service funding, among other responsibilities. One vacancy, term runs through 12/15/2020.

Arts Commission . Members promote visual, performing and literary arts and encourage creative contribution of local artists, among other responsibilities. One vacancy, term runs through 10/15/2017.

Lakewood's Promise Advisory Board . Members serve as advisory board to the City Council regarding the Lakewood's Promise mission and youth development, among other responsibilities. Three vacancies.

Descriptions of each board and commission, meeting schedule and application form can be found online .


Lakewood Police honored

Last week 11 police officers were sworn into duty at Lakewood City Hall during an evening ceremony for family and friends.

New recruits were sworn in by Municipal Court Judge Susan Adams, and some existing officers were sworn into new roles after receiving promotions.

Following the swearing in, Chief Mike Zaro recognized various officers for work they did in 2016.

In his speech Zaro noted there were countless acts of bravery and quick-thinking among Lakewood’s 100 employed law enforcement agents during the past year, but those honored at the Feb. 24 ceremony were recognized because their acts rose to the top.

The following officers received the Police Chief’s Commendation recognition:

  • Steve Parr
  • Jeremy Vahle
  • Brian Markert
  • Vince Sivanko
  • Joel Pettit
  • Anthony Bucat
  • Jacob Veenker
  • Russ Martin
  • Court Compliance officer Cameron Himes
  • Sgt. Pete Johnson
  • Sgt. Rich Hall
  • Detective Bryan Johnson
  • Detective Les Bunton

The following officers received the Life Saving Pin:

  • Mike Russel
  • Sgt. John Fraser

The following officers received the Medal of Distinguished Service:

  • Sgt. Andy Suver
  • Eric Bell
  • Nick McClelland
  • Mike Russel
  • Paul Osness
  • Jeremy Vahle
  • Steve Parr
  • Oscar Maysonet
  • John Henterly
  • Anthony Bucat
  • Jim Lofland
  • Andy Hall
  • Keith Czuleger

The following officers received the Medal of Valor:

  • Max Criss
  • Angel Figueroa
  • Karen Herritt
  • Vince Sivankeo
  • Darrin Latimer
  • Ryan Moody
  • Jon Anderson
  • Jeremy James
  • Sgt. Jeff Paynter


Upcoming Council meetings:

All meetings start at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted. Meetings are held in council chambers at City Hall, 6000 Main Street SW, Lakewood.

March 6, 2017 Regular Meeting

  • Proclamation Classified School Employees Week – Ms. Irene Oda, President, Educational Support Personnel of Clover Park
  • Proclamation declaring March 5 through April 28, 2017 as Pierce County READS. - Ms. Kim Archer, Lakewood Branch Manager, Pierce County Library System
  • Youth Council Report
  • Clover Park School District Report
  • Adopt code amendments to imprest funds RE: SSMCP memberships
  • Adopt code amendments re: purchasing and contracting authority of the City Manager
  • Adopt city boundary line adjustments to include portions of Tacoma Mall Boulevard
  • Setting April 3, 2017 as public hearing on vacating a portion of Lakeland Avenue
  • Bid award Ft. Steilacoom Park parking lot improvements
  • Adopt alarm code amendments
  • Approve fee schedule amendments relative to alarm fees
  • Approve purchasing policies
  • Adopt Waughop Lake Management Plan
  • Reports by the City Manager – Central Business District Marketing Analysis Report

March 13, 2017 Study Session

  • Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County update – Mr. Bruce Kendall, President & CEO
  • Abatement program update
  • Review of FY 2017 Consolidated Annual Action Plan & funding recommendations
  • Review of 2017 SSMCP Work Plan
  • Review of proposed LID for Street Improvements on 146th St, 150th St and overlay of Spring St.
  • Marijuana discussion