By Andrew Neiditz, Manager, City of Lakewood
- Chief meets with U.S. Attorney General: Lakewood Police Chief Bret Farrar met with Eric Holder, U.S. Attorney General, on March 22nd at the AG’s invitation to discuss officer safety issues. The chief was joined by several other chiefs at the Justice Department in Washington DC.
- Wal-Mart Homicide “Mastermind” Convicted: Closing arguments in the trial of the last defendant in the Wal-Mart Homicide case took place on Wednesday March 23rd and a guilty verdict was delivered by a jury the next day. Prosecutors presented their case against Defendant Odies Walker, who they characterized as the “mastermind” behind the planning and execution of the robbery/homicide that took place at the store on June 2nd, 2009. Loomis armored car guard Kurt Husted was murdered during the crime and Wilbert Pena was shot by the same bullet that killed Husted. The shooter, Calvin Finley, pled guilty almost immediately and was sentenced to life in prison. All of the other participants in the crime pled guilty and Walker was the only one to take his case to trial.
- City manager presents to NW regional city managers conference: The city manager presented a new ICMA video production entitled “Life, Well Run” about professional management of local governments, to the annual regional conference of Washington and Oregon city managers in Stevenson WA on March 24th. Lakewood’s city manager is serving as the West Coast Regional Vice President for ICMA (the International City Management Association).
- Police participate in Basketball Game to Raise Money: On March 23rd, Lakewood Police Officers participated in the 2nd Annual Cops vs. Teachers basketball game at Ferrucci Jr. High in Puyallup. Puyallup PD, Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, Tacoma PD, and Lakewood PD all played against the teachers of Ferrucci, and (also for the second year in a row) defeated them soundly. This was a charity event with all donations going to the Mountain View Community Food Banks “Seeds of Change” Program and the Kiwanis Child Cancer Research Project of Seattle.
- Municipal Court Judge and Probation Officer attend substance abuse program at JBLM: On March 18th, representatives from Lakewood’s Municipal Court attended a workshop sponsored by Pierce County District Court and the ASAP (Army Substance Abuse Program) at JBLM. Judges O’Malley and Sussman chaired the meeting with support from JBLM mental health professionals. The purpose of the meeting was to address the special needs of military personnel who present with substance abuse problems. Army staff outlined the ASAP program and discussed how best to provide necessary evaluation and treatment information to the courts. Judges from Tacoma, Roy, and Puyallup also attended.
- CSRT conduct Police Station Tour for Cub Scout Pack: CSRT staff conducted a tour of the Lakewood Police Station for Cub Scout Pack 289 on March 22nd. The tour included discussion on crime prevention, bicycle safety, and fingerprinting. The Cub Scouts were working on requirements for rank advancement and were able to complete their requirements by coming to the police station for a visit.
- CSRT Leader attends NW Command College program: Lt. Steve Mauer attended the NW Command College in Vancouver, WA, March 5th – 9th. This program is for law enforcement administrators who have already earned their mid-level management certificate from the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission. This class was sponsored by the training commission and the FBI, which sponsors training like this all over the United States. Instruction focused on communication, leadership, and ethics. Forty-three officers from around the state participated.
- CSRT secures abandoned houses: Within the span of a week, CSRT staff boarded up three houses that were in foreclosure, abandoned, and being vandalized. The team is now equipped to perform limited emergency board-ups that typically involve securing a few simple doors and/or windows. More substantial board-ups may be done by the Public Works Department or by outside contractors that can respond within approximately 48-hours.