Issaquah police train for active shooter incidents

September 4, 2012

The worst-case scenario for most police agencies is a mass shooting — and Issaquah officers spend time preparing for the unthinkable.

The recent spate of such incidents — a Colorado movie theater and a Sikh temple in Wisconsin — called attention to the so-called active shooter training police undergo.

“Active shooter incidents are kind of rare, but they’re very traumatic when they happen, so we try to get as much training and expertise in that field as we can, along with many other things they train for,” Issaquah Police Chief Ayers said in a recent interview. “A lot of those things that they train for in active shooting can be used in their regular work — safety issues, how to react and those types of things.”

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Issaquah Police Department seeks residents’ help to curb burglaries

August 7, 2012

Police increased patrols in Issaquah neighborhoods in recent weeks as officers work to curb residential burglaries, particularly daytime incidents.

The stepped-up patrols and public outreach campaign started last month, and officials credited the effort in a recent arrest connected to a string of burglaries.

Issaquah officers responded to 53 burglaries — 33 residential and 20 commercial — between January and July. In the same period last year, police responded to 47 burglaries — 30 commercial and 17 commercial.

Police responded to 107 burglaries overall in Issaquah last year and 101 burglaries in 2010, according to the annual Crime in Washington report compiled by the Washington Association of Sheriffs & Police Chiefs and the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission.

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Countywide fingerprinting service aids Issaquah Police Department

July 31, 2012

Voters to decide funding for crime-solving tool in November

City corrections officers at the Issaquah City Jail use a King County-backed fingerprinting tool to identify every inmate behind bars.

The tool is a useful component in the Automated Fingerprint Identification System, or AFIS, a regional police fingerprint identification service. Issaquah officers used information from AFIS 2,100 times last year to determine if a jail inmate is evading a warrant, concealing a criminal record or using a false identity.

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Police detonate pipe bomb in Issaquah Highlands portable toilet

July 24, 2012

Police display a pipe bomb discovered in a portable toilet July 16 and later safely detonated the device. Issaquah Police Department

Police safely detonated a pipe bomb discovered inside a portable toilet in the Issaquah Highlands on July 16, not long after a construction crew discovered the Honey Bucket had been damaged by explosives.

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Police ask for tips after pipe bomb is discovered in portable toilet

July 17, 2012

NEW — 6:50 p.m. July 17, 2012

Police safely detonated a pipe bomb discovered inside a portable toilet in the Issaquah Highlands on Monday, not long after a construction crew discovered the Honey Bucket had been damaged by explosives.

The incident occurred at 15th Avenue Northeast and Northeast College Drive. Bellevue Police Department bomb squad personnel responded to the scene after workers discovered the unexploded pipe bomb inside the damaged Honey Bucket. The case remains open and under investigation by the Issaquah Police Department.

Police said another portable toilet in nearby Central Park sustained damaged from explosives July 4.

Investigators asked for tips and assistance from citizens in reporting suspicious activities near construction areas in the highlands.

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Voters to decide dollars for juvenile justice center

July 17, 2012

King County voters could decide next month to increase the property tax rate in order to prepare the criminal justice system for the decades ahead.

The ballot measure Proposition 1 asks voters to approve a $200 million property tax levy to fund a replacement for the aging Youth Services Center, a juvenile detention facility in Seattle.

“We have a fairly good court system. We have a good prosecution office. We have good sheriff’s deputies. But this facility is the leak in the pipeline,” King County Councilman Reagan Dunn said in a July 13 interview. “For criminal justice to work effectively — especially with the increase in crime we’re seeing right now — all aspects of that pipeline need to be operating effectively.”

If the nine-year levy is passed, homeowners can expect to pay about 7 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, or about $20 per year for a home assessed at $350,000 in 2013.

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Voters could decide $118.9 million county levy for fingerprint services

June 5, 2012

King County voters could decide on a $118.9 million property tax levy to continue funding criminal fingerprint identification services for local law enforcement agencies.

The proposal is to keep the Automated Fingerprint Identification System, or AFIS, in operation through 2018. The system provides criminal fingerprint identification services to law enforcement agencies throughout the county, including the Issaquah Police Department.

The proposed renewal levy rate is 5.92 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation, or about $20.72 per year for a $350,000 home.

Voters approved the initial AFIS levy in 1986, and overwhelmingly renewed the levy since then, most recently in 2006. The current levy expires in December.

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Voters could decide $118.9 million levy for fingerprint services

May 31, 2012

NEW — 12:30 p.m. May 31, 2012

King County voters could decide on a $118.9 million property tax levy to continue funding criminal fingerprint identification services for local law enforcement agencies.

The proposal is to keep the Automated Fingerprint Identification System, or AFIS, in operation through 2018. The proposed renewal levy rate is 5.92 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation, or about $20.72 per year for a $350,000 home.

The system provides criminal fingerprint identification services to law enforcement agencies throughout the county, including the Issaquah Police Department.

Voters approved the initial AFIS levy in 1986, and overwhelmingly renewed the levy since then, most recently in 2006. The current levy expires in December.

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Police urge motorists to buckle up, or face $124 fine

May 22, 2012

The start of the summer travel season means the Issaquah Police Department is urging motorists to buckle up — or else — during ongoing Click It or Ticket patrols.

The patrols in Issaquah and elsewhere in Western Washington started May 21 and last through June 3. Violators face a $124 fine for not wearing a seat belt.

The effort launched as public safety officials celebrated the 10th anniversary of Washington’s primary seat belt law. Officials estimate the law requiring motorists to buckle up has saved 1,010 lives in the past decade.

Before state law changed to make seat belt violations a primary offense, law enforcement officers could only cite drivers for violations if the motorist violated the speed limit or broke another law.

“If you just do one community, then you’re reaching a smaller percentage of people,” Issaquah Police Chief Paul Ayers said May 16. “If you do it regionwide on the same day or the same weekend, it’s a consistent message. It really reaches far more people.”

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Police endure icy plunge for Special Olympics fundraiser

March 6, 2012

Kasey Keller, a Special Olympics Washington board member and former Seattle Sounders FC player, emerges from Lake Union at the Polar Plunge on Feb. 11. By Rod Mar/Special Olympics

The temperature in Lake Union held steady at 41 degrees, but the chill did not stop Issaquah police officers and police department employees from a dip on a gray February day.

The police department descended on a stretch of shoreline along the Seattle lake Feb. 11 for the Polar Plunge, a frigid fundraiser for Special Olympics Washington. Combined, Issaquah officers and department employees raised about $1,000 for the nonprofit organization.

Police Communications Specialist Jacqueline Kerness rounded up more colleagues for the February event for the Polar Plunge after she and coworkers dipped into Puget Sound for the 2011 endurance test.

“It was a moment of shock for a good cause,” she said. “It’s something easy to do to raise funds for a lot of people.”

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