Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Community coffee-time with Police Chief Kristi Wilson

Police Chief Kristi Wilson recently reached out to our community with a 2-hour "coffee" at Victor's Coffee.  It's great that she's so community-minded. I was lucky to have 25 minutes with her and another police officer.

She spent a lot of time answering my questions about the mentally ill, specifically about "involuntary commitment."  If a mentally ill person is at harm to himself or others or is gravely disabled, the police have the training and authority to take this person by force, if necessary, to a hospital for treatment.

I was curious how many involuntary commitments are made by the police Citywide -- the officer answered 1/day.  I was shocked.  And, over the course of about eight years, 12 involuntary commitments were made at tent-encampments.  If you calculate it, there's a higher incidence of involuntary commitments at the encampments, than Citywide.

Chief Wilson seemed excited about a new "police-human services pilot program" starting this July. The program will employ a city "social worker" to go out on patrol to help the homeless, and others down on their luck, to find human services.  The city is taking a leadership role on the Eastside with this program.   Kristi mentioned the police are also working with the school district and parks department to help youth find human services.  There's consideration the Teen Center will be used for job-finding services.

I was curious about how many patrol officers work each shift.  According to a police support officer, about 5 patrol officers work the first shift, 5-7 work the middle shift, and 5-6 work the last shift.  That doesn't seem like a lot.  But besides patrol officers there are traffic officers and support officers.

In preparation for our coffee, I checked out the city website and discovered King County identifies registered sex offenders by address and profile.  I told her I have eight living within two miles of my home.  Kristi said she just registered a new offender that day.

Becky Range, police information officer, was also present.  Becky said there was a rash of car break-ins recently.  Kristi said most of the break-ins happen when people don't lock their cars.

My time was well spent!  Thank you RPD!

Bob Yoder
Join "Friends Who Like Redmond Neighborhood Blog"  for updates of popular stories.

No comments: