Highlights from the weekly report (August 15) from City of Lakewood Manager, Andrew Neiditz to the Mayor and Council Members:
- Code Enforcement Records Update: As of today, there have been a total of 232 records entered for 2008, of which 73 have been closed, 52 are active, and 107 are pending. 23 cases have been closed in the past week.
- Abatement Update: Abatement contracts were signed this week for demolition of two burned houses. Asbestos surveys preparatory to demolition are expected to begin next week, with demolitions expected to begin approximately two weeks thereafter. Abatement of another burned-out house was completed by the property owner. In the City‚Äôs first appeal of a dangerous building abatement order, the hearing examiner upheld the City‚Äôs action. The owner subsequently expressed his intent to work with the City and comply with the order. There are currently 20 active abatement cases and at least seven additional cases pending. Staff expects to issue abatement orders in at least two of the pending cases within the next week.
- Lakewood Volunteer Observation Patrol Recruitment: The new Lakewood Volunteer Observation Patrol (LVOP) has begun citizen recruitment. This grass-roots citizen-designed and operated ‚Äúmobile block watch‚Äù has successfully become a non-profit organization, obtained liability insurance, and begun monthly training sessions with Lakewood Police. These concerned neighbors want to support local law enforcement efforts by being the ‚Äúeyes & ears‚Äù of the LPD. They patrol their neighborhoods in personally owned vehicles and look for signs of ongoing crime and blight, which they report to police or other City departments as needed. Volunteers do not carry weapons, and do not involve themselves directly in police actions. They serve as early warning, and they make good eyewitnesses in cases of emergent crimes. Training provided by the Lakewood Police consists, in part, of Suspect Identification, Vehicle Identification, Gang and general crime awareness, How to Work With Police and 911, and other aspects of observation/evaluation/reporting of criminal or suspicious activity in their neighborhoods. They are not trained in defensive tactics or surveillance, or any other ‚Äòpolice-type‚Äô activity, and do not wear uniforms, carry badges or weapons; they are not police or City employees or agents. Interested persons are asked to contact the LVOP President Carol Hudgins at 253-584-5905.
- Exceptional Homicide Sentence: Thanks to excellent police work by LPD, a homicide of a 3-month old child that occurred in July 2007 at the Kelly Court Apartments has resulted in a conviction and an exceptional sentence of 50 years in Superior Court last week. Francisco Sao was charged with killing his 3-month-old son. Sao stood trial and was convicted on all counts, Murder 2nd degree, Harassment, and Tampering. The jury returned special verdicts as it pertained to the vulnerability of the infant and threats to kill that Sao had made while on the run. The good work that was conducted by LPD Patrol and Investigations made an impact with the jury and made their decision that much easier.
- LPD sponsors Special Olympics Golf Tournament: The Special Olympics Golf Tournament was held on August 8th and was a huge success. Over 56 golfers showed up to swing their way around the Lakewood Meadows Golf Course. There was some specific interest in the 2009 Ford Flex (donated by Lakewood Ford) being given away at hole 4- if you were able to shoot a hole in one. Unfortunately no one was able to make that shot for the second year in a row and the Ford Flex was taken back to the lot. Over $10,000 was raised for the Special Olympics and Lakewood PD had yet another successful event for this important cause. Coincidentally, the Lakewood Ford team won the tournament.