City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 3/31/06

March 31, 2006

To:          Mayor and Members of the Council

From:    Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Community Policing Partnership with 7-11: On March 23rd, the Lakewood Police Department ended the “squeaky wheel” project of 7-11 at 9117 South Tacoma Way.  Under LPD’s community policing strategy, when a business experiences high volume of police calls for service, the Neighborhood Patrol Officer (NPO) usually starts a project of “Hot Spot” or “Squeaky Wheel.”  When a business is determined as a “Hot Spot,” the entire community policing section will coordinate for law enforcement efforts and resources to bring the problems under control.  If the business is considered as a “Squeaky Wheel,” the district NPO will solely manage the project.  The 7-11 store on South Tacoma Way was named as a “Squeaky Wheel” and the partnership between the store owner, 7-11 Corporation and LPD began in July 2005.  LPD recommended the best practices to the business owner who agreed to follow the recommendations.  The owners and the Corporation were very active in making the business crime free, by installing chain link fence and digital surveillance cameras and also posting no trespass signs as recommended by the department.  The owner was also active in not allowing unwanted persons to loiter around the store, and called the police proactively rather than reactively.  During the partnership period, Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) inspection was conducted and numerous local 7-11 employees were trained at the police station on robbery and shoplifter prevention, dealing with gangs and conflict resolution.  As a result of this partnership, police calls for service dropped dramatically at the store.  Between January 2005 and June 2005, LPD responded to the business 17.2 times a month on average.  In contrast, between July 2005 and December 2005, LPD responded to the business 5.8 times a month on average.  The current monthly average is 6 calls, and only 1-2 calls are non-proactive calls.
  • Public Works Trust Fund loan approved: The Governor on March 28th signed HB 2544 relating to the Public Works Trust Fund project list. Lakewood’s ALG/Tillicum sewer project is now approved and our $5,000,000 loan is assured. An additional plus is that with this new loan our existing $1,000,000 converts to a 20 year pay back period versus its present 5 year pay term.
  • Updating streets and development standards: Public Works has selected the firm of Berger/ABAM Engineers from the consultants who responded to our RFP to assist us in the updating of our Public Works streets and development standards (Title 12 and Chapter 17.46 of the Municipal Code).  These sections of the Code have for the most part remained unchanged since incorporation and are in need of updating.   The consultant agreement will be presented to Council in April.
  • Narcotic Drug Dog Program: The Lakewood Police Department is in the development stages of a Narcotic Drug Dog Program to enhance our drug investigations for our Swing Shift Patrol and Special Operations Unit. Numerous agencies within Washington utilize Narcotic Detection Dogs to enhance their enforcement capabilities in the War on Drugs. Through the use of the State Seizure Fund, the Department will not have to spend any city funds for this program. We are researching the use of dogs and officer training from the Washington State Patrol or the State Department of Corrections.
  • Underage Liquor Compliance Checks: On March 21st, a LPD officer and two explorers assisted in a Liquor Compliance detail with a special agent of the Washington Liquor Control Board. They conducted compliance checks on 11 different locations, listed below.  All of these locations adhered to the laws and did not serve alcohol to our minors.  There was one bar who poured the alcohol and placed it in front of our minor before asking for ID, which resulted in a stern warning from the WSLCB officer. The bars that passed the compliance checks were:
    • Maggie O’ Tooles
    • Longhorn
    • Oaktree
    • Jim Moore’s
    • Bowlero
    • Green Pup
    • My Place
    • Bourbon Street
    • Chips Casino
    • Applebee’s
    • Lake City Tavern
  • Volunteer Observation Patrol Training: LPD and Safe Streets sponsored the first new Citizen’s Patrol Training session on March 24th.  This was largely a “Train the Trainer” session, a mobile block-watch program, with citizens from the neighborhoods organizing into ‘patrol teams’ which will observe and report criminal or suspicious activity in their own neighborhoods. They will have extra training, equipment like radios, flashlights, safety vests, and clearly defined objectives and procedures to keep them effective and safe while ‘on duty’. There were about ten attendees.  The two co-captains will take the information and share it with other volunteers who were not able to attend. We are setting up monthly training meetings at this time, and intend to increase our volunteer attendance.