Marysville schools will get more SROs

hristopher AnderssonMarysville School Resource Officer Chris Sutherland holds a door open for students at Marysville Getchell High School during a passing period on Oct. 1.

hristopher Andersson
Marysville School Resource Officer Chris Sutherland holds a door open for students at Marysville Getchell High School during a passing period on Oct. 1.

 

By Christopher Andersson, North County Outlook 

 

The Marysville Police Department will be able to more than double the number of officers that it assigns to local schools because of a recently received federal grant.

The federal Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services grant provided the city with $375,000 to fund three new full-time School Resource Officers (SROs).

Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring said that they had the idea for a “youth services unit” about three years ago that would help create “a strong presence not only in the schools, but also just where youth are hanging out after school as well,” he said.

Nehring added that the city is “trying to be proactive and prevent youth crime where we can.”

The police department currently employs two SROs and together they have responded to more than 7,600 calls ranging from assault, gang activity, theft and threats in the last five years.

“Everyone is focused on the same goal, and that’s providing a safe environment, so the more officers you have that just stay at their school, you’re going to have that presence” said current Marysville SRO Jeremy Wood.

The two current SROs in Marysville have to cover incidents across all the district’s schools, so they expect the extra three officers to help.

“It’s going to be an awesome help,” said Marysville SRO Chris Sutherland.

Currently the officers have to move between the schools frequently, he said.

“Once something happens in a middle school we have to leave our high school to go there. Usually, when we leave we’ll get a call to come back to the high school that’s like ‘hey, when are you going to be back, because we have this issue going on,'” he said.

“With only two SROs it’s going to be hard to cover all those schools and you get better coverage if you have more, but they will also be able to respond in other areas more as well,” said Nehring.

The job of the SROs involves more than just responding to incidents though.

“They’re utilized by family and students for a variety of reasons, and in most cases, because of the relationships they’re building, it’s done in a very positive and helpful manner,” said Shawn Stevenson, principal of Marysville Getchell Academy of Construction and Engineering.

The officers also help build relationships with the students and the schools, said Stevenson.

“I think all of the SROs I’ve worked with in the last eight to 10 years have done a tremendous job helping to build relationships and allowing us to build community between our schools,” he said.

Wood said that building relationships with the students helps them view police officers in a new light as well.

“From my point of view, growing up and going through public high school, I didn’t get to build a relationship with the police, so I relied on the media or maybe that traffic stop where it was more of a negative interaction. So I think it’s important to show the kids, one: you’re human, and two: you’re here to support them and not just come down on them when things aren’t going well,” he said.

Getting to know officers also helps kids realize that they can go to the police when trouble comes up.

“When youth have relationships with the police they are more likely to approach them when they need help,” said Nehring.

“They’re not just seen as someone who comes by when something’s gone wrong,” said Stevenson.

Sutherland said it help kids move past their preconceived notions as well.

“They’ll be more willing to talk to us. A lot of times, they don’t want to talk to us because of whatever their beliefs, what they were raised with, or what they see on the media. We’re allowed to show them ‘hey, don’t be afraid,'” he said.

Nehring wanted to thank the area’s federal representatives like Sen. Maria Cantwell, Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Rick Larsen, who all “really lobbied hard” for the federal funding for the city.

Local schools get increased support through New Dawn Security

By Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News

TULALIP – A security operations management firm called New Dawn Security has partnered with Tulalip Police Department to assess risks and develop plans to mitigate risks. New Dawn who primarily works with school districts was approached last summer by Tulalip Police Chief Carlos Echevarria who saw a need for an increased risk assessment plan at the Tulalip/ Marysville School Campus, which includes the Quil Ceda & Tulalip Elementary, Heritage High School, 10th Street Middle School and Arts & Technology High School.

“I met Sean Spellecy at a meeting hosted by the Marysville Police Department where he was presenting on New Dawn. We have all heard of the statistics across Indian country about violence and crime. So when we look at Indian country violence, and children exposed to violence and drugs, we see there is a need in our tribal communities for our children to be safe and that also includes the one place they spend the most time at. When Sean’s presentation included the 26 Safe School Standards developed by the Department of Justice, I was sold. I knew it was the right thing to do,” said Echevarria.

The set of school safety standards created by the U.S. Department of Education and Department of Justice can be embedded into day-to-day school operations to make schools as safe as possible. New Dawn has developed a system based off the 26 Safe School Standards to measure a school’s safety rating.

“The first thing we do is a prevention assessment. What is currently in place to be able to prevent all of the risks that you could potentially face. This also goes for medical emergencies all the way down to transportation accidents, all of it. Anything that interrupts education environment or harms kids,” said New Dawn Security creator Sean Spellecy, a retired school principal.

During the tenure of Spellecy’s education career, horrendous crimes committed against his students prompted him to develop a program to keep students and schools safe, later called New Dawn Security.

“Ten years ago schools didn’t have to worry about 90 percent of the stuff that they have to worry about today,” said Spellecy.

Evolving monthly plans are developed according to each school’s assessment risks. These plans include training for educators on medical emergency prevention, active shooter prevention protocols, sexual abuse and misconduct protocols, crisis response and increasing police patrols and hosting law enforcement days where students learn how law enforcement work to keep them safe. Assessment risk plans can also include implementing safer locks and alarm systems, assessing the safety of school grounds, like checking for blinds spots where students may gather, anti-bullying, and what to do in case of food allergies.

Spellecy contacted Marysville School District to discuss including all district schools in a service contract following the discussions with Chief Echevarria about schools located on the Tulalip Indian Reservation. The district declined services last August due to budget concerns.

Ray Houser Marysville School District Assistant Superintendent said, “At the point in the school year when New Dawn approached us, we had not set aside specific resources or have a budget line item reserved for their type of service. Graciously New Dawn offered to conduct some piloting of their services, which we thankfully accepted. Following the piloting of New Dawn’s services, we began researching, and continue to research, their service as well as a number of other organizations that provide such services.”

Despite the decline for services by the district, the proximity of the Tulalip/Marysville Campus schools to the reservation compelled Chief Echevarria to seek funding from the Tulalip Tribes Board of Directors to seal a contract for New Dawn services for the schools.

The contract is paid out of the police department’s annual budget. Chief Echevarria said, “I didn’t want the cost of the program to be a hindrance or a deterrent for us. Once I received the go-ahead, I was going to find the funding. It was that important and that much of a need then that I was willing to do that.”

Tulalip Police Department has signed a two-year contract with New Dawn Security.  Evolving monthly plans will be developed based on assessment risk needs.

“Every single staff member at all four schools has been trained on the warning signs of a potentially violent individual and lockdown procedures protocols of the district. They had all been trained on alert, avoid, deny and defend prior to October 24,” said Spellecy.

“Having police in schools helps tremendously. Having cameras in schools helps but that only covers just one or two of the safe school standards that go out throughout the school. There is parent and student education, all this plays a part in keeping schools safe. Each of us shares a piece of this puzzle to make these schools as safe as possible. Times are changing. The role of principals to just focus on education is over, now they have to be experts in every field of safety. If I can alleviate some of that and look at school safety differently, as well as create immediate response plans on what occurs then I believe we are achieving our goals,” said Spellecy.

For more information on the New Dawn Security and the 26 Safe School Standards visit the website www.newdawnsecurity.com.

 

Brandi N. Montreuil: 360-913-5402; bmontreuil@tulalipnews.com

Suspect arrested in luring incident

Source: Press Release, Marysville Police Department

Marysville Police have made an arrest in a luring incident that was reported last week. A Marysville man was arrested Thursday morning after officers were able to identify and locate the vehicle used in the incident. The suspect was arrested without incident out of his Marysville residence.

On April 14th an adult male subject pulled up in a vehicle near where an eight year old boy was standing and engaged the boy in a conversation. At one point he offered the boy money and video games if he got into the vehicle. The boy, remembering what he had been taught in school ran away because he did not know the man. The boy reported the incident to his mother who notified police.

The mother advised police her son told her the man was driving a large white SUV. He was also able to provide a general description of the man. Detectives were able to complete a composite sketch of the suspect based on the description provided by the boy.

On Wednesday evening officers responded to a second reported similar incident; the mother of an 11 year old female reported that her daughter was a student crossing guard for Shoultes Elementary. While acting as a crossing guard in the morning a male subject in a white minivan repeatedly drove past her. The girl told her mother that each time he drove past he would smile and wave and made her feel uncomfortable. The girl also saw the same white van after school. The girl was also able to provide a description of the driver. Her description was similar to the one given by the boy in the previous incident.

On Thursday during the morning school commute, officers were present in the area of Shoultes Elementary looking out for the white van.

The mother of the young girl from the incident on Wednesday contacted an officer and advised him the van had twice driven by the area near the crossing guards. The mother was able to provide a partial license plate and advised the white van was an older model Toyota.

Officers were able to identify and locate the suspect vehicle based on the partial license plate given by the parent.
Officers drove to the address listed for the vehicle and made contact with a 31 year old male at the residence. He resembled the man described by the young boy from the incident the previous week. The suspect was arrested and booked at the Snohomish County Jail on unrelated, outstanding felony warrants.

Late this morning, a Marysville detective delivered Probable Cause papers to the Snohomish County Jail for the crime of Luring. The suspect will also be booked for the new offense.

“This is an excellent example of how when police, schools and the community work together we are able to arrest bad guys and get them off the streets,” stated Commander Robb Lamoureux.

The two children involved were not physically injured in any way. “Were just very proud of those two kids; they both did everything right by recognizing a bad situation and running away or telling an adult about what happened to them,” Lamoureux said.

Totem Middle School lock down lifted

By Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News

MARYSVILLE – Totem Middle School was placed on lock down after police searching for a suspect on foot was last seen near the school area. The Marysville School District website stated the lock down was due to police activity near the area and not regarding any student activity on campus.

Students were not believed to be in any immediate danger and the lock down was a result of precautionary measures. Parents were not allowed to enter the school or pick up students during the lock down.

The Marysville Police lifted the lock down approximately at 2:08 p.m and school resumed normal operations.

 

 

National Night Out Draws Large Crowd

National-Night-Out-2014_7

By Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News

Tulalip and Marysville Police Departments partnered with Snohomish County Sheriff’s Department to host the Annual National Night Out held at the Tulalip Amphitheater at the Tulalip Resort Casino on Tuesday, August 5.

The national event brings together law enforcement, local organizations, and community members to strengthen relationships to promote crime prevention, while educating community members about crime prevention methods, such as neighborhood watches and citizen patrols.

Traditionally Tulalip Police and Marysville Police Departments have split hosting duties, each taking a turn hosting the event in their respective cities. As this year’s host Tulalip invited local service organizations such as Snohomish County Volunteer Search and Rescue, Tulalip Bay Fire Department, Tulalip Behavioral Health, Medical Reserve Corps, Tulalip Legacy of Healing and others, to participate in the national event that celebrated its 31st anniversary this year.

National-Night-Out-2014_11

An estimated 250 community members from the Tulalip/Marysville area attended the event and were able to ask questions about crime prevention and gain crime prevention awareness resources. In addition, were two K9 unit demonstrations that enabled participants to learn how K9 officers search and find drugs.

“Last night’s National Night Out against crime was a success,” Ashlynn Danielson with the Tulalip Police Department. “Events like this one bring together community members and law enforcement to promote crime prevention. We received positive feedback from participants.”

Due to the success of this year’s National Night Out event, Tulalip Police Chief Carlos Echevarria is considering planning an annual Tulalip Community National Night Out.

 

Brandi N. Montreuil: 360-913-5402; bmontreuil@tulalipnews.com

 

 

Local police departments introduce ‘Business Watch’

Kirk BoxleitnerMarysville Police Chief Rick Smith hopes the ‘Business Watch’ program, in partnership with the Tulalip Tribal Police Department, will help area merchants and retailers safeguard themselves from crime.

Kirk Boxleitner
Marysville Police Chief Rick Smith hopes the ‘Business Watch’ program, in partnership with the Tulalip Tribal Police Department, will help area merchants and retailers safeguard themselves from crime.

Kirk Boxleitner, The Marysville Globe

TULALIP — Members of the Marysville and Tulalip Tribal police departments introduced their “Business Watch” program to the Greater Marysville Tulalip Chamber of Commerce on Friday, May 31, but while they pledge to provide resources and consultation to the program, they made clear to the Chamber members that the “Business Watch” is the community’s program more than it is the police departments’ program.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty in the world, between difficult fiscal times and manmade and natural disasters,” Marysville Police Chief Rick Smith said. “We hope this will bring some certainty back to your lives.”

“As the primary law enforcement for Quil Ceda Village, I understand the importance of business to the community as a whole,” Tulalip Tribal Police Deputy Chief Carlos Echevarria said.

Recently promoted Marysville Police Lt. Mark Thomas, whom Smith touted as a creative people-person, presented the bulk of the program, which he compared to the Marysville Volunteers Program of the Marysville Police Department.

“Perfection is unattainable, but in its pursuit, we find excellence,” Thomas said. “Every good police officer has the goal of driving crime down far enough to put himself out of a job. Realistically, that’s not attainable, but we do excellent work by pursuing that goal.”

To that end, the Business Watch program is designed to work by encouraging businesses to focus on ways they can safeguard themselves from being victimized by crime, with credit card fraud, forgery and shoplifting ranking along the primary illegal perils that they face.

“The Business Watch will never be made into a Hollywood action film,” Thomas laughed. “It’s a coalition of individuals who get together to take care of simple things that might make them vulnerable. Shoplifting alone costs retailers more than $13 billion a year.”

Not only will Business Watches run on the partnerships between businesses, and between businesses and their respective police departments, but Thomas also encouraged Business Watches to forge partnerships with the school district and community service organizations.

“It’s a platform to help teach merchants to crime-proof their own properties, watch over their neighbors’ property, and report and document any suspicious behavior,” Thomas said. “The Business Watch philosophy is straightforward; take control of what happens in your community, and lessen your chances of becoming a victim.”

Among the habits that Thomas identified as contributing to successful groups, Thomas advised Business Watch members to promote communication between law enforcement and business, encourage cooperation among merchants and offer training to their employees.

Thomas broke down the process of creating a Business Watch into five steps, starting with forming a committee to list potential problems in their area, followed by involving law enforcement.

“We can provide training and data on what kinds of crimes are common to your areas, so that you can focus your resources properly,” Thomas said. “From there, you should conduct a survey of your fellow businesses, to identify the issues that you face and establish your common interests.”

According to Thomas, every Business Watch should be launched with a kickoff event, lasting about 45 minutes at a place and time that’s convenient for everyone, after which the Business Watch’s first official meeting should include plenty of questions and answers, to ensure that all of its participants are getting what they want out of the group.

“The difference between a good idea and a great idea is follow-through,” Thomas said. “We can provide you with the tools, but it’s not our place to go out and impose a Business Watch on you. You guys have to pull that together yourselves.”

For more information, contact Thomas at 360-363-8321 or mthomas@marysvillewa.gov, Echevarria at 360-716-4608 or cechevarria@tulaliptribalpolice.org, or Business Watch Coordinator Bob Rise at 360-363-8325 or mvp@marysvillewa.gov.

Schools take proactive approach to safety

From left, Marysville Police School Resource Officer Dave White takes a moment during lunch at Marysville Getchell High School to chat with students Dalton Adcock, Curtis Combs and Bionca Perez. Photo: Kirk Boxleitner.

From left, Marysville Police School Resource Officer Dave White takes a moment during lunch at Marysville Getchell High School to chat with students Dalton Adcock, Curtis Combs and Bionca Perez. Photo: Kirk Boxleitner.

By  Kirk Boxleitner, Marysville Globe Reporter

MARYSVILLE — In the wake of December’s school shootings in Connecticut, schools across America have become more conscious of their safety and security procedures, and the Marysville School District is no exception.

However, the district’s security manager and one of its school resource officers from the Marysville Police Department explained that Marysville schools have already adopted a proactive approach to safeguarding their children.

Marysville Police School Resource Officer Dave White has built up a rapport with the students at Marysville Getchell High School over the course of the past four years, since a year before the campus opened, and while he also covers the district’s three middle schools, he credits his presence on campus at Marysville Getchell with elevating his visibility and approachability with students and staff alike.

“It’s been brought to my attention when students have been doing things they shouldn’t, and I’ve been lucky enough to talk to them in ways that have preempted them from committing criminal acts, either at school or elsewhere,” White said. “After [the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn.], the staff has been even more interested in using our expertise to make the schools safer.”

Just as the Tulalip Tribal Police Department has donated a part-time SRO to cover the Quil Ceda and Tulalip elementary schools, as well as the 10th Street Middle School and the Heritage and Arts & Technology high schools, so too is the Marysville Police Department providing its two SROs to the school district free of charge, with White’s fellow SRO covering the Marysville-Pilchuck and Mountain View high schools. However, this leaves the rest of Marysville’s elementary schools relatively uncovered, which is why White explained that Marysville Police regular patrol officers are conducting walk-throughs of those elementary schools several times a day.

“We appreciate the huge service that the Marysville Police Department is doing for us here, because we have absolutely no money for it,” said Greg Dennis, security manager for the school district. “After Sandy Hook, everyone asked, ‘What if that happened here?’ Here at Marysville, we’ve been asking, ‘How do we prevent that from happening here?’”

The school district’s measures already include SROs, 11 FTE security guards, rapid-response maps that allow 911 responders to arrive at exact locations within 1-2 minutes, and regular drills for fires, lockdowns and earthquakes.

“Going forward, we’re working with our safety committee and law enforcement to review our campuses and our emergency plans,” said Jodi Runyon, executive assistant to the superintendent. “The city police and county sheriff’s office have been very willing to work with us. As the president and state legislators weigh in on what can and should be done, we will take a second and third look at our procedures to make cost-effective adjustments.”