Highlights from the weekly report (April 13) from City of Lakewood Manager, Andrew Neiditz to the Mayor and Council Members:
- Pacific Hwy Phase II Improvement Project: Tucci & Sons will commence construction of the $2,400,000 Pacific Hwy Phase II Improvement project on Monday, April 16th. The project includes installing curb and gutter, sidewalks, street lighting, landscaping, traffic channeling, and a new traffic signal system at the Pacific Hwy and Bridgeport Way intersection as well as installing curb and gutter, sidewalks and traffic channeling along Bridgeport Way from the Pac Hwy intersection northerly to and across the RR tracks. In addition the project includes widening Pac Hwy from 47th Ave to the under crossing of the RR tracks to accommodate access to the abutting properties, including the Sounder Station and the new Ford dealership site. It also includes installing curb and gutter, sidewalks, landscaping, street lighting and 3 traffic signals (one at 47th Ave and at each of the two Sounder station driveways). Construction should be complete by this fall.
- LPD Honored by the Washington Army National Guard: Chief Saunders was invited to the Welcome Home Ceremony hosted by the Washington Army National Guard on April 7th. LPD has had one or two police officers consistently mobilized and deployed into combat since the Department was formed. This particular ceremony was to recognize the return of elements of the 66th Aviation Command. Officer John Fraser, returning from Afghanistan, was one of the honorees. Saunders was surprised at the ceremony when LPD was recognized along with the Boeing Company with the WAANG’s Outstanding Center of Influence Award, given to employers assessed to be most representative of providing outstanding support to mobilized employees. Chief Saunders was given a coin of excellence by Brigadier General Gordon Toney, Commanding General for the WAANG, and the LPD was given a framed and engraved mural commending their support.
- Military Base Feasibility Study briefing: Congressman Adam Smith participated in a meeting this week at City Hall with Councilmember Doug Richardson and the city manager and communications director to discuss the City’s feasibility study related to base annexation and strategies to mitigate the encroachment issues associated with McChord Air Force Base.
- SWAT Training at Western State Hospital: Metro SWAT conducted a training exercise on April 12th on the Western State Hospital campus. Many of the WSH staff participated and it was a good opportunity to coordinate crisis response procedures. Citizens were able to observe and participate as role players. One such citizen’s feedback: “It was informative, exciting and inspirational-I wish more of us were able to appreciate what I have been learning about the Lakewood PD. Your men and women continue to impress me with their spirit and professionalism. My family sleeps better knowing that your team is working so well.”
- Domestic Violence Training: Associate City Attorney Rocio Guerra and Victim Advocate Rebecca Hendricks attended a conference in Spokane presented by the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence entitled “Crossing Borders: Understanding How to Better Work with Immigrant and Refugee Victims of Domestic Violence.” It provided insight into the some of the specific needs of these victims and presented information we can incorporate into our programs, such as specialized safety planning and referral information.
- 14th Annual WSBA Employment Law Institute Seminar: Asst City Attorney Anita Booker-Hay attended the 14th Annual WSBA Employment Law Institute Seminar on March 30th. The program included a review of Federal and State cases decided during the last year, strategic insights about seeking and defending temporary restraining orders and injunctions in employment cases, new trends and theories for claiming workplace discrimination, representing whistleblowers in the public and private sector, strategies for addressing the civil and criminal implications for employees who are under criminal investigation or indictment as well as a segment on workplace ethics and corporate compliance issues for supervisors and executives.
- LPD Detective completes training at National Forensic Academy: Bryan Johnson completed the National Forensic Academy (NFA) at the University of Tennessee Forensic Science Institute on March 16th. The intensive 10-week graduate credit program included advanced training in several areas of forensics including work at the “Body Farm”, the world’s leading research facility in death investigation. Bryan was able to work with classmates from many regions of the country and facilitators recognized as the leading experts in their fields. One of the best “lessons learned” was that the procedures and protocols that Bryan has been given the authorization to implement in the LPD Forensic Services Section are in line with the national best practices, and will assure that LPD continues to grow the Forensic Services Section into one of the best in the region. Bryan was one of two officers in the State selected for this training in 2007 and is one of only six in the Northwest region to have graduated from the program. Bryan was honored to have been invited by the NFA program director to become part of the formal curriculum review committee for the NFA core curriculum.
- Paralegal Internship Program: The Legal Department has developed a Paralegal Internship Program. Paralegal Cynthia Wright, along with the guidance of City Attorney Heidi Ann Wachter developed a curriculum that would benefit both the City and a paralegal student in their last quarter of study by providing hands-on practical experience. They now have their second intern, a TCC student, working through the 10 week program. The first intern student successfully completed the program and the Lakewood City Attorney’s office is now being regularly recommended to other students by the Paralegal Program Director at Tacoma Community College.
- Crime Response Unit helps out Sumner PD: Sumner PD had an apparent murder/suicide on April 9th and requested assistance from the Metro Crime Response Unit, headed by LPD homicide detective Sgt. Chris Lawler. Sgt. Lawler and LPD Detective Bryan Johnson took the lead in organizing and training the CRU. Sumner Chief Colleen Wilson was very pleased with the support provided.