Be vewy quiet … I am hunting wabbits| Police Calls

Police Chief Steve Strachan

Police Chief Steve Strachan

Officer Trevor Donnelly was called to a minivan vs. house crash this past week. The driver was last seen fleeing on foot, but he didn’t get far and was quickly captured up the street.

He was obviously under the influence and, according to witnesses, was doing 60 mph over a hill in a residential area, lost control and crashed into a house. The driver got out, looked at the witness in yards nearby, and put his finger up to his lips in the classic “shhh” technique before he “jack rabbited” away. He was arrested for DUI and hit and run, and tested at a .17 alcohol content.

The best part of the entire incident was that Officer Donnelly used the word “rivulet” in the police report to describe the sweat coming off of the guy’s head. Well done!

Later in the night, a “tricked out” Cadillac careened down Sixth Street, through the red light at Park Avenue, and swerved right into a business. And we mean completely into the building. As Corporal Schaefer noted, the driver backed out and took off but was quickly located for two reasons: first, it was a sweet 1989 Cadillac Brougham that stands out like, well … a 1989 Cadillac Brougham; and second, there was still sheetrock and dust all over the car when it was stopped. The driver went to jail for DUI.

Later in the week, we had a report of a domestic violence assault with injuries. The suspect had fled on foot. Officer Bryan Hall and his K-9 partner Ando were working, so Ando was sent out to look for the man. Ando found him just a few houses away hiding in a storage shed. It turns out the man had badly injured himself when he had attempted to climb a backyard fence and came down hard on the ground, dislocating his shoulder. He went to the hospital before going to jail.

I would like to provide some feedback I received this week from folks in our area about the very different calls and situations in which are officers are involved. The first was feedback from a gas station manager about a police response to a serious crime along Kitsap Way:

“Your officers were just present at the business. They quickly swept in, nabbed their suspect, and cleared the lot as soon as they could. They were extremely polite and concerned about their cars impeding the flow of our business. Over the years, I have seen a positive change in our police force, and it has not gone unnoticed. Thank you and your officers for being extremely courteous!”

The next e-mail was about our response to a theft from a shed:

“I just wanted to send a short note commending Officer Jennifer Corn for her professional response to the break-in at my 82-year-old mother’s garden shed yesterday. You have one very courteous officer in Jennifer. She took a very sincere interest in the theft and assured us that every effort would be taken to solve this crime. What impressed me the most was that when she arrived at my mother’s residence she apologized for taking so long to respond. I read your weekly blog and I am quite sure that Officer Corn may have had something more pressing than a stolen chainsaw and portable generator. Please give her a pat on the back and a big thank you from our family!”

This report came from one of our sergeants:

“Tonight, Officer Frank Shaw located an elderly gentleman with dementia who had walked away from his home. His wife is no longer able to assist in the care of her husband. Officer Shaw assisted the family by locating him on the bridge, then transporting him safely to the hospital. The elderly gentleman was indeed lost, and could not remember where he lived. The elderly gentleman’s son met Officer Shaw at the hospital to help check his father in. This is another example of the constant care our officers do for the community. How one minute we are dealing with violent people, then the next call we show care and compassion for those who need it and those family members that ask for our assistance.”

In addition to these examples I am citing above, I also received a note this week from our city prosecutor, who wanted to share something she had seen earlier in the day at the Municipal Court:

Sgt. Kevin Crane had contacted a woman who had been evicted from her home in the morning. The woman has an adult son with disabilities, and everything they owned was in their car. Sgt. Crane became aware that the woman had an outstanding arrest warrant from a case in 2014 that had been sent to the wrong address, so she was not aware of the warrant. He could have taken her to jail, but was far more concerned about her welfare. He accompanied her to the court so she could resolve the warrant today and she would not have to worry about being arrested over the weekend, and he stayed and helped explain the situation to the judge. Once that had been resolved, he went with her to assist with finding housing and services for her and her son.

The prosecutor said the woman was very emotional and very grateful. The extra few hours Sgt. Crane spent will not be trending on social media, and will not be a viral video. It is just one person trying to do the right thing.

This week, the national media and social media will continue to focus on division — using terms like “victims of police violence” and controversy about professional athletes kneeling, or not, for the National Anthem. Keep the great work of our local officers in mind as you are deluged with the negative and polarized commentary.

Bremerton PD extends our deepest sympathy to the victims and their families of the Las Vegas shooting.

— Steven D. Strachan is chief of the Bremerton Police Department. Contact him at Steven.Strachan@ci.bremer ton.wa.us.

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