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City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 12/9/05

December 9, 2005
To:      Mayor and Members of the Council

From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • City’s 10th Annual Tree Lighting: The City’s 10th annual Christmas tree lighting was a big success.  Over 380 children along with family members and friends welcomed in the holidays while enjoying the music of the Lakes High School and Mann Middle School Choirs, watching the tree lighting ceremony, visiting with Santa, meeting Santa’s reindeer and browsing through the treasures at the craft fair. Special thanks to all the staff and volunteers who made this happen, especially Sara Millbauer, Recreation Coordinator, and the Parks Department staff.
  • Award of $5M PWTF Loan for Sewer Project: The City’s Tillicum/American Lake Gardens sewer extension project received a major “shot in the arm” this week, with the award of a $5 million low interest loan (at ½ %) from the State’s Public Works Trust Fund. Councilmember Bill Harrison’s service on the PWTF Board was instrumental in the award.
  • Investigation and Search for Missing 10 Year Old Continues: The Lakewood Police Department’s investigation into the disappearance of Adre Anna Jackson, which is being coordinated by Sgt. Chris Lawler, is still going at full speed.  With the excellent assistance of the FBI, Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, Fort Lewis, the Fire Department, the neighborhood, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and the Cooperative Cities Crime Response Unit, new leads and witnesses are being checked and documented thoroughly.  Of particular assistance has been the Lakewood GIS Team, who has provided outstanding aerial maps and photos with overlays of the Tillicum and Woodbrook areas. The primary sonar and dive search of American Lake wrapped up late Thursday afternoon, and the Pierce County Sheriff’s Dive Team has been requested to conduct follow-on searches of the shoreline.
  • Incredible Support: The Lakewood Police Department is extremely appreciative for the incredible support we have received from the Tillicum community.  It has been awesome - hundreds of search volunteers, 24 hour support for coffee, hot soup and meals from the Tillicum Baptist Church, use of the Tillicum Elementary and associated office equipment at our command post, and comprehensive support to the victim family.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 12/2/05

December 2, 2005
To:      Mayor and Members of the Council

From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) Grant: The City received a $150,000 grant from the Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) for sidewalk improvement on the south side Steilacoom Blvd from Bridgeport Way to Fairlawn Dr.
  • Sidewalk and Bike Lane Improvements: Our grant applications for sidewalk and bike lane improvements along Pac Hwy from 108th St to Tacoma Way S (Pierce Transit Park & Ride lot) and along Pac Hwy from Bridgeport Way to Gravelly Lake Dr have made the first cut list.  Our grant applications were for design money only for which we sought $80,000 for Pac Hwy between 108th St and Tacoma Way S and $300,000 for Pac Hwy between Bridgeport Way and GLD.  We competed against all projects within the PSRC’s 4 county area.  101 grant applications were received for the available $18,000,000 and 51 made the recommended list.  Our projects ranked 8th and 17th respectively on said list.  The list now goes to the State to be reviewed by its Enhancement project review committee who will make a recommendation the Secretary of Transportation. It is anticipated that the Secretary will make his decision on the list in February.
  • Solarbees: Solarbees have been installed in Steilacoom Lake.
  • Portland Avenue Debrief: On 11/29/05, a Community Debrief at the Tillicum Community Center.  The purpose was to address community questions and concerns about the search warrant served at 15217 Portland Ave SW and associated properties.  Det. Higgins did an outstanding job of explaining the purpose, scope, and results of the search warrant which had been processed on 11/10/05.  He emphasized the need for the community to report crime, and gave them tips for how to protect themselves in the future.  He answered several questions from the audience of about 35 citizens with respect and candor. Afterwards, all three officers remained to speak to individual citizens who had further unrelated questions.  As a result, two leads for new block-watches were developed.
  • LPD Joint Operation: Several members of Special Operations assisted the Violent Crimes Task Force in serving a narcotics warrant on 11/17 in Tacoma. This was part of a very large DEA sweep of 74 Hoover gang members throughout Western Washington.  During the entire operation, the DEA served 17 search warrants and arrested 21 suspects on various federal drug charges.  Our officers and the Task Force served one of those warrants and recovered ½ of a kilo of cocaine and over $10,000.  We did not have an active role in the case but made tactical entry and served the one search warrant.  This has been reported in some media outlets this evening.
  • Woodbrook Debrief: On November 16th, LPD conducted a public de-brief about the recent shooting incident that occurred at the RoAnn Apartments. The meeting was held in a vacant apartment on the premises, and the manager was present.  There were about 20 people in attendance.  Officers explained the details of the incident and answered questions related to safety, use of 911 system, the Crime Free Housing aspects of this case, and also explained Crime Free Housing programs in greater detail, including the use of a Block Watch in the apartments, and the various ways the public has of obtaining non-emergency service from LPD.  The Officers stressed the importance of “community” in the apartment complex.
  • First Joint Vice Task Force Operation A Success: On Wednesday evening, vice officers from Tacoma PD, Lakewood PD, and Fife PD conducted the first Joint Vice Task Force prostitution emphasis, on South Tacoma Way between 96th St and 56th St.  The Joint Vice Task Force was formed this fall, with the mission of driving prostitution out of the partner jurisdictions by cooperative enforcement.  Wednesday night’s operation resulted in the arrest of five street prostitutes, one customer (who indicated his intention to sign up for the new “John School”), and also netted a drug dealer as a bonus when he made the mistake of selling his product in the same area.
  • Business Owner Meeting: On November 15th, LPD attended a meeting of Business Owners located along 59th avenue and 100th Street SW.  In discussing the businesses concerns, the officers explained the need to call 911 or Non-Emergency dispatch to report crimes.  The NPO/CSO team suggested ways that the establishments can become harder targets.  The team also offered to provide a wide range of training and support to the Owners and their employees.  It was an excellent example of how business owners and the Police Department can work together to accomplish a common goal.  The result is a new Business Block Watch that will benefit the business community and their customers.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 11/04/05

November 4, 2005
To:      Mayor and Members of the Council

From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • 100 Best Communities for Young People Award: Five delegation members (Claudia Thomas, Andie & Bill Gernon, Ria Johnson, and Edith Owen) representing the City of Lakewood, traveled to Washington, DC to be recognized for the 100 Best Communities For Young People award on November 2nd.  Although Lakewood is still recognized as one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People in the nation, Long Beach, California was the Region I (Western region) winner of the $20,000 grant from America's Promise 100 Best Communities for Young People.  The four other grant winners were Salisbury, MD; Houston, TX; Mankato, MN and Rock Hill, SC.
  • Lakewood Police Birthday Celebration: Lakewood Police held its first Departmental Awards and Recognition event on November 1st to showcase special programs and lifesaving actions by its officers. Also recognized were officers and employees who were founders of programs which were successfully started and would not be in progress without these individuals’ actions. Each was provided a certificate and a brick with their name and the name of the program they initiated. Volunteers who have provided 100 hours of volunteer service to the Department were also recognized for their contributions. 72 Awards and Recognitions were provided during the event.
  • Sound Transit Open House: Public Works participated in Sound Transit’s open house meeting on November 2nd on their Commuter Rail Station project at Pierce Transit’s Training Center.  The City had a display of its Pac Hwy improvement project from Bridgeport Way to 108th St SW.
  • Open Bidding: Public Works department open bids on October 27th on both a city wide street sweeping contract and storm drainage system cleaning and maintenance contract.  Four bids were received for the street sweeping contract and five bids were received on the storm drainage system cleaning and maintenance contract.  Preliminarily the total of the apparent low bid reflects a substantial saving over present budgeted costs.
  • Economic Development Corporation Board: The city manager was appointed this week to be the Pierce County Cities & Towns Association’s representative on the EDCB Board of Directors, which oversees distribution of economic development loans for new business development.
  • Front Desk Hours: Last month, the Police Department attempted to increase the hours of its Front Desk from 8:00 AM- 5:00 PM to 6:00 AM- 6:00 PM. The trial period demonstrated that citizens were forced to wait for service at the front desk and when calling in for service, because the front desk is generally handled by two Community Service Officers. We are now moving the hours of the Front Desk to 9:00 AM -5:30 PM, which will provide two CSO’s for most of the day and still provide citizens with the ability to make it to the Department after 5:00 PM.
  • Public Works Grant Applications:
    • Applied to Washington State Department of Transportation for a $2,700,000 Regional Mobility grant for the Lakewood Commuter Rail Station project.  Sound Transit (ST) asked the City to apply for this grant.  If successful ST would get $2,000,000 and the City would get $700,000.  ST would use their share to offset some of the additional costs associated with building a parking garage structure versus a surface parking lot.  The City would use its share to provide the pedestrian/bicycle link along Pac Hwy between ST’s rail station and Pierce Transit’s Park & Ride lot. No new match is required because submitted the entire ST/City project as the scope so existing budgets were the match.
    • Applied for an EDA grant of $924,000 for the extension of additional gravity sewers lines within the American Lake Gardens Area.  If successful, use of the grant is subject to whether or not the fronting property owners will provide the associated local match.
  • Police Training Bullets:
    • Three police officers attended a 3 week Collision Investigation- Technical course hosted by LPD. This is the third level of Collision Investigation courses that are beyond what is taught at the Basic Law Enforcement Academy.
    • Several more employees attended the Weapons of Mass Destruction recognition course offered by the Pierce County Department of Emergency Management.
    • Evidence Technician Terry Neumann attended a 40 course on Crime Scene Investigation at the Academy.  This will allow Terry to better assist in crime scene processing and evidence gathering.
    • Several Officers and Detectives attended the Fall Firearms in Service training at Bremerton’s Range.  This training focused on Low Light firing skills.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 11/18/05

November 18, 2005
To:      Mayor and Members of the Council

From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Walmart Permits: On November 14th, the Community Development Department issued a building permit and site development permit for the Walmart project. The off-site civil permit is pending.   The parties of record were noticed pertaining to the permit issuance.
  • Keep Lakewood Beautiful Joint Project: Construction started last week on the KLB/City joint beautification project at the intersection of Gravelly Lake Drive and Veterans. As Council will recall, this project resulted from a donation to KLB for the improvements, and they will be providing much of the work.  The City is providing the engineering along with installing curb and gutter around the island and removing of the asphalt pavement form.   As a volunteer project, it may take a few months to complete.
  • Hearing Examiner: The City’s Hearing Examiner considered two appeals this week. The first dealt with Adult family homes at Creekwood Drive and the other matter was a business license revocation appeal for Club Paradise.
  • New Business Block Watch: On November 15th, the Police Department (Lakeview NPO, CSO, and Operations Assistant Chief) attended a meeting of Business Owners on 100th Street SW.  In discussing their concerns, the Police suggested ways that the establishments can become harder targets.  The team also offered to provide a wide range of training and support to the Owners and their employees.
  • New Block Watch: Community Service Officer Jason Jennings held a new block watch November 3rd at John Dower Elementary. Approximately 20 people attended, mainly people who reside on the north side of John Dower. The discussion centered on crime prevention (mainly burglaries and personal safety), what a block watch is and how it works, and the possibility of incorporating PCNET into their community.
  • LPD Detective Teaches Basic Crime Scene Course: LPD Detective Bryan Johnson facilitated an intensive one-day Basic Crime Scene Examination course, presented to 35 LPD and regional law enforcement personnel on November 16th.  The course, which was held at the Lakewood Fire Department Training Room, included sections on fingerprint evidence, crime scene photography, and investigation scenarios.  Det Johnson is a regionally-recognized forensics expert who holds advanced certification and a graduate degree in forensic science.
  • Raising the Bar Training: LPD training for bar owners, managers and staff was conducted at the Great American Casino on November 3rd.  The State Liquor Control Board was also present, and there were 48 persons attending the class representing fourteen establishments. The presentation included both the legal requirements and the expectations of the WSLCB, with strong emphasis on the rules about over service.  Translation services were provided for the owners and workers of Korean establishments.
  • School Safety Fair: Tyee Park Elementary held its first Safety Fair on November 3rd, showcasing Lakewood’s many community resources. The event was attended by approximately 90 people. Attendees had the opportunity to speak to many different agencies including Lakewood Police and Fire Departments, Safe Streets, Department of Emergency Management, Law Enforcement Support Agency, and the Latino Advisory Board.   Much of the information was provided in Spanish as well as English and interpreters were available to assist when needed.
  • Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs Conference: Chiefs’ Saunders and Hall attended the fall WASPC Conference in Olympia November 18th and 19th. The Department was presented an award for contributions of over $5,000 last year to the Special Olympics.  Additionally, the Washington Liquor Control Board, National Center for Alcohol Law Enforcement, and LPD co-presented an orientation on Lakewood’s Raising the Bar Program.
  • St Francis Cabrini Service: Asst Chief Tim Lopez and Officer Michelle Hector attended the Sunday Service and Coffee hour on Sunday, November 6th. This is an ongoing outreach by the LPD’s Latino Police Advisory Board to integrate the police department into the Latino Community. This service has grown from 100 to 600 people in just over a year.
  • Police Training: All personnel that operate pursuit rated patrol vehicles attended a 3 hour session of emergency vehicles operations course (EVOC) at Bremerton Raceway.  Five skill sets were involved; Placement course (slow speed), High Speed Course, Mock Pursuits, Pursuit Immobilization Technique (PIT) and deployment of stop sticks/ spike strips.
  • LPD Combined Operations “Play of the Week”: Police, along with Community Development and Metro SWAT, served extensive search warrant in Tillicum, which closed down a major burglary ring and drug dealership. The operation resulted in the recovery of a large quantity of stolen property, felony-levels of illegal drugs seized, and five suspects arrested on charges of possession of stolen property, possession and sale of drugs, and other felony and misdemeanor violations.  Six residences in this “compound” were condemned by Code Enforcement action, and numerous junked vehicles were impounded.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 10/28/05

October 28, 2005
To:      Mayor and Members of the Council

From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Community Arson MeetingIn reference to the recent arsons, a meeting was held on October 24th at the Mt. Vernon Village Condos, with about 100 in attendance. LPD and Safe Streets participated. The fire department discussed how the fires occurred and the way they respond to fires. They then moved into fire prevention. The Police Department gave an update on our side of the investigation and then presented on crime prevention and safety tips.
  • Pierce County Responder Updates: The School Resource Officers have contacted all the Middle and Elementary Schools and updated the information currently on file for Pierce Responder, a work in progress with the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC).  The information was used in the two day meetings with Prepared Response.  All schools are mapped and have tactical plans.
  • Tillicum/American Lake Gardens Community Service Center Anniversary: The city manager and LPD community resource officer attended the 20th anniversary celebration for the community center on October 28th. A number of present and past board members were present, and the City’s support for the community center was the subject of a number of appreciative comments.
  • Pumpkin Patch: The Lakewood Pumpkin Patch was held last Saturday, at the Lakewood Fire Station 2-1 on Steilacoom Blvd. Lakewood Police participated in the event. There was a lot of fun for all of those who attended. The attendees were able to go around to different booths, learning about fire safety, boating safety, 911, and child passenger safety. The Pierce County Child Passenger Safety Team was present, conducting a free car seat check.