Hundreds attend local National Night Out events

August 9, 2011

By Quinn Eddy

Local residents got the opportunity last week to meet face-to-face with their local law enforcement officers during National Night Out Against Crime events.

There were two local National Night Out celebrations Aug. 2 — one held by the Issaquah Police Department on the steps of Issaquah City Hall and the other held by the King County Sheriff’s Office at Maple Hills Community Park.

A King County sheriff’s deputy at Issaquah’s National Night Out explains to a girl and her mother how an inflatable water rescue craft is used. By Quinn Eddy

“To give you an idea of how many people are here, we bought 700 hotdogs and we’re going to use all of them,” said Sgt. Scott Trial, with the Issaquah Police Department.

Issaquah’s Night Out celebration featured roughly 35 information booths, some by private vendors and regarding topics ranging from home alarm systems to emergency preparedness. To aid residents in the fight against identity theft, free document shredding was offered to destroy sensitive documents.

On the lawn behind Issaquah’s City Hall, eventgoers got the opportunity to meet Savute, the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Karelian bear dog. Savute deals primarily with bears and cougars. (His job is to chase the animals into trees making for an easier shot with a tranquilizer gun.)

“Last week, he treed a bear in North Bend trying to get someone’s French doors open,” said Jason Capelli, game warden for the department of fish and wildlife.

The Issaquah event featured prizes, raffles and a live DJ. The Maple Hills event had informational safety demonstrations. At both events, grilled hotdogs were offered free to those in attendance.

More than 400 people attended the Maple Hills event, according to Deputy David Montalvo, with the sheriff’s office. Residents there got the opportunity to explore the department’s V150 armored SWAT vehicle. The military surplus tank was acquired eight years ago and provides the SWAT team with armored protection.

“We use it for high-risk search warrants,” Montalvo said. “We have it to deliver our team in situations where we need to approach with caution.”

In addition to the SWAT tank, Maple Hills youngsters got the opportunity to man the controls of a bomb robot, mainly used for suspicious packages. It would go out and grab the package and then take it to a secure location.

“We used it during a standoff in Enumclaw last week when the subject was hiding under a house,” Montalvo said of the robot.

Youngsters also got the opportunity to spray a real fire hose.

“It was a good little exercise,” Montalvo said. “The community was very enthusiastic.”

The Maple Hills event was co-sponsored by the sheriff’s office and the Four Creeks Unincorporated Area Council.

Quinn Eddy: 392-6434 or Comment

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