Highlights from the weekly report (February 5) from City of Lakewood Manager, Andrew Neiditz to the Mayor and Council Members:
- Police Accreditation On-Site evaluation: Two assessors from CALEA (the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies) conducted an “on-site” review of the Lakewood Police Department over three days last week. The assessors were command staff officers from the police departments in Culpeper VA and the Oakland CA Housing Authority, who had experience conducting numerous evaluations of law enforcement agencies around the nation. The assessors met with over 40 members of the department, toured facilities and the community, and conducted “ride-alongs” in addition to a public hearing. The assessors concluded their site visit with a very positive informal statement of LPD’s compliance with about 460 standards that are required for accreditation. Formal reports will follow, and CALEA will award successful candidate agencies who have achieved compliance at their Dallas conference in March. If awarded with accreditation, LPD will be the first agency in Pierce County to achieve that status, and one of only a handful in Washington State.
- Public Works in line for new road improvement grants: The City is eligible for a portion of about $16.7 million in new fully-funded federal grants for the Pierce County area. Lakewood’s projects include Traffic Signal Upgrade ITS-Phase I ($1,000,000), Overlay of Bridgeport Way – Cirque to Steilacoom Blvd ($2.4 million), and Overlay of Steilacoom Blvd – S Tacoma Way to Farwest ($4 million). The awards are subject to final prioritization of the Pierce County Regional Council (PCRC) at their general assembly on February 18th.
- Parks, Recreation, and Community Services staff retreat: The staff of the newly-restructured department of Parks, Recreation, and Community Services conducted a staff retreat at the Hope Center on February 5th. The purpose of the retreat was to further develop staff working relationships, assimilate the human services program into the department, and to establish action plans for the year ahead. The department includes parks maintenance, recreation services, and the senior activity center, in addition to human services.
- Sound Transit to work on railroad crossing improvements: Sound Transit’s contractor will be working on storm drainage systems at the railroad crossings at 100th, 108th, and Bridgeport later this month as part of the Tacoma-Lakewood Sounder commuter rail service project. This will necessitate lane closures during night hours at all three crossings later this month.
- Boys & Girls Club CEO introduction: The city manager attended a reception in Lakewood on February 4th to welcome Mark Starnes, the newly appointed chief executive officer of the Boys & Girls Club of Tacoma/Pierce County. The City has partnered with the agency on the construction of the Hope Center, adjacent to Lakeview elementary school.
- Public Service theme of talks to groups of students: The City’s transportation engineering manager, Desiree Winkler, and lieutenant of criminal investigations, Heidi Hoffman, joined Mayor Richardson, Councilmember Whalen, and the city manager in speaking engagements on February 3rd at St. Frances Cabrini School. Each grade level was subjected to a short speech about the role of city government and the basis for public service in the community.