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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.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 3/24/06

March 24, 2006

To:          Mayor and Members of the Council

From:     Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Non-motorized transportation survey: Public Works has developed a Non-Motorized Transportation Survey which is presently published on the City’s web site; and will be distributed to various organizations, citizen groups, and neighborhood associations throughout the city.  The purpose is to seek citizen input on developing a comprehensive plan for sidewalks, trails and bikeways for the City.  A recent amendment to the Growth Management Act requires that a non-motorized element be part of any update of the City’s comprehensive plan.
  • Youth and Law Forum: City attorneys Anita Booker-Hay and Rocio Guerra participated in the “Youth and Law Forum” at the County-City Building on Saturday, March 18th.  Police officers, prosecutors, and defense attorneys joined with middle school and high school students to recreate a mock criminal prosecution in an effort to expose young people to the justice system.
  • Arts Commission briefing: Representatives of Sumner’s Arts Commission presented information about their history, formation and programs to a meeting at Lakewood City Hall on March 22nd, hosted by Mayor Thomas. Councilmember Neary, key City staff, and about 10 “arts community” citizens participated.
  • Ft. Lewis DUI/Traffic Safety Briefing: On March 16th, Lakewood Officers Russell and Novasky were asked by the Company Safety Officer for the 54th Medical Company (medivac) to give a traffic safety briefing to their unit as they had recently returned from Iraq. They presented a one hour briefing about DUI's, including the legal definitions, criminal penalties, and fines and fees soldiers could expect if arrested for DUI. They also discussed the use of designated drivers.
  • Radio Interview: Traffic Sergeant Steve Mauer went on KLAY 1180 AM on March 15th to discuss traffic issues in particular as well as overall police issues. The interview went well, and the “Lincoln DiMarco and Friends” program may want a weekly interview with Lakewood PD.
  • Crime Free Housing: Two apartment complexes in Tillicum are set to recertify in the Crime Free Apartment Program after resident Safety Socials.  Community Service Officer Miller reports there are two other complexes in Woodbrook, which also will recertify after Safety Socials. There is a new Citizen Radar Patrol group anxious for training in Woodbrook, where the speeding is a problem on 146th/Woodbrook Dr.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 3/10/06

March 10, 2006

To:          Mayor and Members of the Council

From:     Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • EDB Annual Meeting: The City participated in the annual meeting on March 10th of the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County, for which the City is a funding partner and the city manager is a board-member. Congressmen Dicks, Adams, and Reichert were present and participated in the program. The keynote speaker was Kent Harrington, a strategic business and government consultant, and his topic was U.S. relations with China.
  • Enforcement Action: The State Department of Health (DOH) has taken enforcement action against the Vagabond and Golden Lion hotels. The Vagabond was issued a notice of summary suspension. They must close and vacate the premises by March 14th, unless an appeal is filed. The Golden Lion has until March 20th to correct a list of violations or DOH will submit a “statement of charges” to the Attorney General and thereafter request charges and closure.
  • Crime Free Motel Training: LPD trained 23 Lakewood motel owners and employees on the Crime Free Motel Program. The 4-hour training program was taught in English and Korean, and includes four training modules, covering the Introduction to the Crime Free Motel Program, Working with the Police, Best Practices, and Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED). The intent is to build a lodging business community that is safe and more attractive for the transient population in the City.
  • Wal-Mart Update: Wal-Mart will begin preloading operations on March 20th, with about 350 to 500 trucks trips per day, Mondays through Saturdays, between 7:00 AM and 10:00 PM.    Public Works has placed restrictions on vehicle operations during periods of heavy traffic, in addition to dispersing the preloading routes. Preloading will last about 45 days. Wal-Mart has hired two off-duty police officers to assist with traffic control. Wal-Mart will be mailing out courtesy notices to surrounding property owners and businesses, to include contact telephone numbers should residents/business owners have questions regarding construction. Variable message boards will be installed along adjoining streets beginning March 13th.
  • Building Permit Activity: Building permit activity remains equal to last year, although permit valuations are down. Permit valuation for the months of January and February total $4,454,973. Community Development has received 297 building permits and 56 planning permits as of February 28th.   The following table breaks down timelines for approvals:
    Building Permits:

    No. of building permits applied for:

    No. of building permits issued:

    Planning Permits:

    No. of planning permits applied for:

    No. of planning permits issued:

    To-date, from January through February, 70% of all building permits were issued within 10 days of the application date. However, service levels may be impacted as a result of two recent building inspector resignations.
  • Police Training: Four officers attended a 32-hour Emergency Vehicle Operators Course (EVOC) Instructor Update in Vancouver WA, in a course was designed to improve our instructor cadre in the areas of pursuit driving, decision making, and lower speed precision driving, and paid for by the State Traffic Safety Commission.  The course used Portland International Raceway’s track, an in-field autocross and the use of two skid cars.  Six detectives attended a 40-hour course on Child Fatality Investigations at the academy in Burien, also at no cost to the city. Another officer attended a 16-hour course on Less Lethal Munitions Instructor at the academy in Burien, also at no cost to the city. Side B of Patrol attended their second cycle of In-Service training, which includes Dealing with Mentally Ill, Low Light Firearms, Defensive Tactics, Biased Based Policing, Cultural Diversity and Legal Updates.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 3/17/06

March 17, 2006

To:          Mayor and Members of the Council

From:     Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Gang Forum: On March 14th, three Lakewood Police Officers attended the Gang Forum put together by Safe Streets at the First Church of Nazarene in Tacoma. Valuable information was presented and exchanged at the forum. The Lakewood Police Department Community Policing Section is planning to host similar public gang education programs in the near future to increase public awareness.
  • Northwest Regional Managers Conference: The city manager attended the NW Regional Conference in Welches OR this week, with city managers and administrators from about 115 jurisdictions in Washington and Oregon. Workshop subjects included Strategic Partnerships, Future of the Northwest, Building a World-class Workplace, local government in the classroom, volunteer development, and professionalism in management
  • Underage Drinking Town Hall Meeting:  Lakewood will be one of hundreds of communities nation-wide that will hold an Underage Drinking Prevention: National Town Hall Meeting on March 28th. The meeting is open to middle and high school students, parents, teachers and public officials county-wide. The City of Lakewood, in collaboration with the Lakewood Youth Council, the Lakewood police explorer post, the student leadership of Clover Park School District and Steilacoom High School, Youth Leading Change of the Safe Streets Campaign, City Beverages and the Washington State Liquor Control Board invite all to gather to learn more about the devastating impacts of underage drinking and discuss ways to address this problem. State Representative Dennis Flannigan will lead a panel of youth, victims, police and counselors in a discussion about the scope of the problem. After the discussion, attendees will break into work groups to develop a plan of action for an extended campaign. Invitations will be sent to all members of the Council.
  • Courts Helping Courts: Senior Court Specialists Windy Guiberson and Deana Wright attended the “Courts Helping Courts’ outreach at Ruston Municipal on March 15th.   City staff assisted in an audit of their court and assisted them with updating their accounting and case processing procedures, as well as, mentoring them on the best practices for Municipal Courts.  In the past, we have assisted Steilacoom and Dupont Courts as well.

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

March 3, 2006

To:          Mayor and Members of the Council

From:     Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Sound TransitThe city manager and Councilmember McGovern participated today in a multi-agency discussion hosted by Sound Transit board chair John Ladenburg on the alternative grade separation options for the rail line between Tacoma and Lakewood.
  • Police Explorers- Challenge: The Lakewood Police Explorers, Post 253 competed at their first State-wide “Explorer Challenge” on February 25-26 in Federal Way. Our Explorers excelled as a new post and were recognized for their efforts and hard work in training and community service. The most notable accomplishments were 1st Place winner over all individual Drill and Ceremony by Explorer Lieutenant John Webley, 1st Place winner in response to domestic violence call Explorer Sergeant Jessica Lowrance and Explorer Roger Hunton, 2nd Place winner in Field Interview Report (FIR ) Explorer Sergeant Krystelle Purkey and Explorer Zack Crommes, and 3rd Place winner in the overall physical agility Explorer Tiffany Byers.
  • The Lakewood Latino Police Advisory Board: LLPAB hosted a Latino Youth Leadership forum on February 25th  at the Lakewood Police Station with 15 Hispanic youth to prepare for a Leadership Summit to be held in the fall of 2006. These LLPAB Members and the fifteen young people tackled issues at the forum that challenge Latino youth in today's culture. The forum was such a success that another will be held on March 18th to continue the planning sessions for the Summit.
  • Regional Vice Task Force "John Operation" Update: LPD conducted a John Operation on February 24th in the 8800 block of South Tacoma Way. The team made a total of 22 arrests which included 19 Johns, one prostitute, and 2 for drug dealing.  LPD continues to lead other the other cities in arrest rates. We anticipate the diversion fees from the last two operations will generate over $8,000 from this operation for use in additional prostitution enforcement. In addition, these two operations will provide $10,800 to the Metro Development Council to provide outreach and treatment programs for street prostitutes. With this funding, MDC has plans to open an in-patient treatment facility, in addition to drug treatment, mental health counseling, health screenings, and job placement services.
  • LPD Officers Participate in "Hero To Hero" Event: LPD officers donated "the shirts off their back", and participated in the “Pack Out” event held at Camp Murray on February 25th.  "Hero To Hero" is a nationwide program that began here in Pierce County several years ago. Its purpose is to reinforce the connection that our troops serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, and Guantanamo Bay have with police officers and firefighters back home. Public safety personnel donate agency logo shirts and other garments, with added handwritten messages of support, which are shipped to units overseas. These garments are extremely popular, morale building items among the troops, and reinforce the fact that while they are in combat zones, their families back home are being protected by cops, firefighters, and medics. This year, over 5,000 shirts were packed up for shipment this week. The event was featured on KIRO TV News.