Highlights from the weekly report (Aug 17) from City of Lakewood Manager, Andrew Neiditz to the Mayor and Council Members:
* New Gas Main: Puget Sound Energy (PSE) will be installing a new gas main within Bridgeport Way from Mt Tacoma Dr to Steilacoom Blvd starting August 27.¬† PSE’s work is a precursor to the city’s street improvement project through this same section which is anticipated to start later this year.¬† PSE will be replacing its vintage gas main with a more appropriately-sized main as well as making other betterments to their system.¬† PSE’s work within the travel lanes will be restricted to night time hours (7:00 pm to 5:30 am) and should last for one month.
* State City Managers Conference: There were about 80 participants at the annual Washington City/County Management Association (WCMA) conference this week in Walla Walla. The work sessions included economic development, revitalization of boulevards/downtowns, implications of climate change in the Pacific Northwest, performance management systems, recent developments in labor law, cultural change in organizations, and innovation in leadership roles. Key presenters included the director of the State Community Trade & Economic Development Department (CTED), the executive director of the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC), and the president of the Alliance for Innovation. Lakewood’s city manager was the conference planning chair and is now the WCMA president.
* Police Accreditation: Lakewood police are now entering the final year of a three-year process to receive national-level accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA).¬† CALEA is the premier accreditation agency in the nation.¬† The beginning years are developing policies, procedures and training consistent with the 400(+) standards (best practices) for law enforcement operations published by CALEA.¬† The final year is the self-assessment, requiring the Department to gather “proofs” and reports documenting that it’s meeting all required standards.¬† The self-assessment includes a courtesy review by inspectors from Departments who are already CALEA accredited.¬† In December 2008, we will receive the actual CALEA assessment from certified CALEA commissioners.¬† The process is so comprehensive and intense that many Departments require an initial and then a follow up assessment to gain final accreditation.¬† There are less than 5% of agencies nation-wide who have gained CALEA accreditation, and only 13 in the state (none thus far in Pierce County), so the project is an ambitious undertaking for this very new department. However, it’s aimed at ensuring we’ve designed operations from the beginning at the highest possible standard.¬† We intend to pursue accreditation until we are successful.¬† In a related development, Officer Jeff Carroll, our training and accreditations officer, was recently selected as President of the Northwest Police Accreditation Coalition, a grouping of Northwest departments who support each other in obtaining either national or state level accreditation.¬† ¬†
* American Lake Boat Launch Improvement Project Update: After an extensive state shorelines permitting process (13 months), the City is ready to start construction on the American Lake Park project.¬† Contracts with the Department of Fish and Wildlife were executed and materials were delivered to the site to start the boat launch portion of the project. ¬†¬†¬†Due to high water levels on American Lake the construction schedule was adjusted.¬† We moved the in-water work till later in the season and proceeded to start the upland improvements. ¬†Construction drawings and technical specifications were completed and the project was put out to bid.¬†¬† Bids on May 21 came in significantly higher than expected.¬†¬†¬† After some value engineering exercises and looking at reducing the impacts to current boat launch users this season, we will postpone construction until after the summer boating season.¬† The project will be implemented in three phases:
** Phase one: Boat launch renovation & construction period October & December, 2007
** Phase two: Piling and dock work & construction period December, 2007 – February, 2008
** Phase three: Upland improvements & construction period October, 2007 – April 30, 2008
Dates are estimated.¬† Site conditions, weather, and product availability may all contribute to changes in our schedule.¬† We may need to change some of the design and product specifications to meet available funding.¬† We will maintain the overall goal of improving access and use of the American Lake Boat Launch and ensure the sustainability of this site for many years to come. The City of Lakewood has requested extensions on all grant and agency agreements, so that loss of any current funding should not occur.¬†
* LPD Evidence Room Audited: The Lakewood Police Department Evidence Room was audited last week as a part of the City’s annual state audit.¬† State auditors reviewed accountability of evidence; the auction process for evidence not able to be returned to original owners, the destruction process for evidence required to be destroyed, and the security system for our temporary evidence room.¬† Particular emphasis was placed on evidence associated with seized drugs, guns or money.¬† The audit was completely clean, no findings and no comments.
* DUI Emphasis: LPD has received funding approval from WTSC to participate in the “Drive Hammered Get Nailed” campaign which began Aug 15 and runs through September 3.¬† ¬†August, historically, is one of the deadliest months for traffic fatalities and Labor Day weekend is one of Washington’s deadliest holidays, averaging more than eight deaths each year, safety officials say. The campaign is a joint effort of the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, local law enforcement agencies and the Tacoma/Pierce County DUI Task Force