Highlights from the weekly report (September 14) from City of Lakewood Manager, Andrew Neiditz to the Mayor and Council Members:
- City to host Lakefront Street Ends Community Meeting on Sept 25th: The City of Lakewood will host a community meeting on Tuesday, September 25th in the Council Chambers at City Hall to obtain community input as a first step in designing a formal street ends policy. An open house will start at 6pm and precede the meeting which will run from 7-9pm. Citizens will be able to review aerial photos of all lakefront street ends during the open house and during the meeting itself. Citizens will be encouraged to provide written and verbal comments before and during the meeting. The City is negotiating with a consultant to facilitate the process that will culminate with a formal street ends policy adopted by the City Council in early 2008. Additional details on the meeting will be forthcoming in a press release.
- 9/11 Freedom Walk: The City co-hosted a special event this week commemorating the attack on our nation six years ago, sponsored by Operation Homefront. About 700 people were in attendance, and dignitaries included General Charles Jacoby, the Fort Lewis commander, and Colonel Jerry Martinez, the wing commander at McChord Air Force Base.
- 108th Speed Enforcement at St. Frances Cabrini: The new radar speed-monitoring sign is installed and working on 108th west of Bridgeport, for the school zone at St. Frances Cabrini. Radar van enforcement will commence next week after a week to adjust to the new control measure. LPD will not be placing the van on or near school property.
- Qwest Excess Tax Recovery Settlement: The City and Qwest have reached a tentative settlement on the tax overcharge matter whereby the company charged Lakewood customers a utility tax rate slightly higher than the City-authorized 6 percent. Qwest will lower its charge to our customers to 4 percent for a six-month period, and will monitor the credit amount until the appropriate relief is achieved. The settlement is contingent upon WUTC (WA Utilities & Transportation Commission) approval.
- Emergency Management Update: Lakewood emergency management planning is moving into a new phase with the Continuity of Operations plan and Pandemic flu plan being virtually complete. The next phase includes working on exercise planning with Pierce County Department of Emergency Management to help the City actually apply the plans we have developed. Lakewood is also working hard on a sheltering plan for low level and medium size emergencies, and working with the Red Cross to develop a plan for major disaster shelters.
- Law Enforcement Youth Camp: The Lakewood Police Department continued its long tradition of community involvement by supporting Law Enforcement Youth Camp (LEYC) again this year. LEYC is a camp that has been around since 1970 and it is a non-profit organization that takes kids to camp who would not normally have a chance to go. The counselors are all law enforcement related, such as corrections officers and police officers. This year Lakewood sent two of its officers, Karen Herritt and Stephen Mauer, and we hosted 4 boys and 4 girls from our city to the camp. The activities included swimming, jet skiing, crafts, horses, and ropes course activities.
- Pierce County Law & Justice Council: Chief Saunders represented the City at the newly rejuvenated Law & Justice Council, to support the implementation of recently passed state legislation to reform offender supervision and treatment in the community. The LJC agreed to three major projects: establishing a sub-committee to monitor Department of Corrections (DOC) compliance with only releasing offenders here who have originated from Pierce County; developing a model to promote better partnerships between DOC and local police for supervision of offenders in the community; and providing a coordination point and support base for criminal justice stakeholders to assist Lakewood in reducing crime and improving community safety at Western State Hospital.
- GREAT grant: Lakewood was approved for a second year of Department of Justice (DOJ) funding for the LPD/Clover Park School District partnership for the Gang Resistance, Education and Awareness (GREAT) grant. The grant amount is about $150,000 and pays 50% of the salaries for the three School Resource Officers and one Community Service Officer at the middle school.
- Metro SWAT Team response: The Metro SWAT team responded on September 8th to a barricaded subject in Puyallup, who was holding his 12-day old infant hostage. The SWAT team forced its way into the residence only to find the suspect barricaded into a bedroom. Hostage negotiators talked with the suspect for hours and tried to get the father to provide for his child. The SWAT team was forced to make entry due to serious concerns over the baby’s health. The child was rescued unharmed and the suspect taken into custody. Puyallup officials were very pleased with the skill, professionalism and restraint demonstrated by the Metro SWAT team.