Editorial — Neighbors should help police and themselves

October 7, 2014

Last year, thieves broke into vendor booths overnight during Salmon Days, making off with merchandise that support people’s livelihoods. This past weekend, Issaquah police were being extra vigilant for that and caught some would-be thieves in the act, arresting them on the spot.

You being vigilant can also help prevent crime.

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Rash of bank robberies doesn’t alarm police, FBI

August 19, 2014

Issaquah police and the FBI said they see four banks being robbed in the past six months as more of a cycle than a crime wave.

So far this year, KeyBank on Northwest Gilman Boulevard has been robbed three times and Chase Bank, also on Northeast Gilman Boulevard, was robbed once. Police believe the same man, who they’ve dubbed the Summertime Heat Robber, might be behind the Feb. 22, June 25 and July 11 KeyBank robberies. So far, officials have not arrested any suspects.

“It’s an increase,” Cmdr. Stan Conrad said. “But there are times when robberies pick up and times when they are down. Now, they are just down.”

Chief Scott Behrbaum agreed.

“Historically, we’ve had bank robberies in our city,” he said. “Last year, we didn’t have that many, but we’ve had years where we’re close to twice the current number.”

Feb. 22 KeyBank robbery suspect

Feb. 22 KeyBank robbery suspect

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Meet the heat on the beat during National Night Out

July 29, 2014

 The Issaquah Police Department will really work the community beat Aug. 5.

In the city’s sixth celebration of National Night Out, officers from the department will join thousands of communities nationwide in reaching out to residents to create a stronger bond between the department and the people it serves.

“We’re going to continue with our previous program and let the community have an opportunity to chat with our officers,” Police Chief Scott Behrbaum said. “I think it’s an opportunity to engage with that community-policing model that we have. It’s an extension of how we approach our policing focus in Issaquah.”

Behrbaum said the goal of National Night Out is to promote awareness of crime and drug prevention and provide support for local anti-crime efforts. He said it also gives officers a connection to residents, helping with outreach and building a relationship.

Free food, giveaways, music and tips on topics such as emergency preparedness and home security will be made available at the event on the steps of City Hall beginning at 5 p.m.

Citizens can also bring their sensitive documents to be destroyed by a mobile shredding service for free.

“National Night Out doesn’t have to be only at the police department event,” Behrbaum said. “We invite other people to throw their own block parties and get to know their neighbors.”

He said the officers really respond to the opportunity to learn more about Issaquah’s citizens and introduce themselves in a more laidback, social atmosphere.

“We really enjoy it,” he said. “Yes, this is official business, but it gives us the chance to talk to people. It’s a chance to chit chat on a one on one basis.”

City Communications Director Autumn Monahan said residents should interact with the city on social media to share their communities’ experience and, if neighborhoods hold separate block parties, receive an informational visit from an officer.

“We encourage people to let us know beforehand if they are holding a block party and want an officer to visit,” Monahan said. “Residents are welcome to share their events with us and with their communities as well.”

Residents can connect with city staff on Facebook and Twitter, or email to schedule a visit at nno@issaquahwa.gov. Monahan said the city would use the hashtag #PartywithPolice and invited others celebrating the event to join.

“It’s a really fun way to spend a night out in Issaquah,” Monahan said. “You can attend and walk across the lawn and join the Concerts on the Green. It’s a great way to piggyback two fun events.”

Behrbaum said the event offers the chance to benefit all Issaquah’s residents.

“It’s about building relationships and that comfort level,” he said. “If people feel comfortable with us, then people will be more willing to call us. We care and it’s all about the quality of life in Issaquah.”

If you go
National Night Out

  • 5-7 p.m. Aug. 5
  • City Hall

4130 E. Sunset Way

Council addresses top public worries

May 20, 2014

The Issaquah City Council has chosen to concentrate on transportation and Olde Town issues in the future.

Senior city administration met with the council during the 122nd-annual goal setting retreat at the Mercer Slough Environmental Center in Bellevue and spent a solid eight hours debating Issaquah’s next steps.

The council members began the day with 17 goals, submitted by council after it asked for citizen input. The day ended with five: Transportation Master Plan, Affordable Housing, Enhance Olde Town Vitality, Central Issaquah Plan Anchor Project and to promote a Safe/Drug-Free Community.

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Court filings for 2013 are down from previous year

May 13, 2014

Domestic violence cases marked the greatest increase in Issaquah’s decreased number of court cases in 2013.

In his annual presentation to the City Council, Judge Scott Stewart laid out what cases came before the local court in his state of the court address April 7.

“Domestic violence cases are up slightly,” Stewart said at the meeting. “And we’re seeing a number of different computer crimes charges.”

By Greg Farrar N. Scott Stewart, judge for Issaquah Municipal Court, presents the state of the court  year in review address to the City Council and members of the public April 7 in council chambers.

By Greg Farrar
N. Scott Stewart, judge for Issaquah Municipal Court, presents the state of the court year in review address to the City Council and members of the public April 7 in council chambers.

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City Council divided as marijuana moratorium deadline draws near

April 22, 2014

Marijuana was the sole agenda item at the April 14 Issaquah City Council work session as the administration gave an updated presentation to the council.

Through the state’s definition of business rules and an ultimate lack of response from this year’s legislative session, the council has maintained a reflective stance on the future of recreational marijuana.

The council established a six-month moratorium in September and extended it again in February, as it explored how the city should extend the state’s base regulations or consider banning marijuana business practices all together.

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New Police Chief Scott Behrbaum plans to follow same strategies

April 22, 2014

Newly confirmed Police Chief Scott Behrbaum does not expect to make a lot of changes to the department anytime soon.

After serving 17 years with the Issaquah Police Department, and the past seven of those as patrol commander under retired Chief Paul Ayers, Behrbaum said he believes in the ongoing direction of the department.

By Greg Farrar Issaquah Police Cmdr. Scott Behrbaum shakes the hands of City Council members April 7. The council voted unanimously to confirm his appointment by Mayor Fred Butler as the department’s new chief, taking effect April 16 after retiring Chief Paul Ayers’ last day.

By Greg Farrar
Issaquah Police Cmdr. Scott Behrbaum shakes the hands of City Council members April 7. The council voted unanimously to confirm his appointment by Mayor Fred Butler as the department’s new chief, taking effect April 16 after retiring Chief Paul Ayers’ last day.

“I’m excited for the appointment,” he said. “I’m really proud of our department and the positive impact it has established in our community.”

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