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North Seattle residents want action on property crimes

Posted Wednesday, November 19, 2014 by Andrew Charles Huff

About 100 people packed a meeting with SPD at the Loyal Heights Community Center to grill the department, demanding they put more officers on the street now. At least 100 concerned neighbors attended the community meeting Tuesday afternoon – and many gave Seattle Police an earful.

Folks living in north Seattle want action, claiming the number of burglaries, car thefts and car prowls are getting out of hand. Some of the crooks are getting pretty brazen.

One thief robbed a two-story home in Fremont this summer, using a ladder to climb to the second floor while the residents were sleeping downstairs.

The department’s own crime mapping website shows a slew of car prowls, car thefts and burglaries in north Seattle.Neighbors said it’s time for them, and the SPD, to crack down on property crime in the area. Police officers at the meeting told neighbors that they can’t simply shift officers into the north side from other areas of Seattle because staffing is an issue citywide.

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Wrongly-convicted man released after victim recants

Posted Wednesday, November 12, 2014 by Andrew Charles Huff

A judge in Olympia has ordered a new trial for a man who has been in prison since 1995 when he was convicted of child molestation.

A woman who was 11 at the time has recanted and said she made up allegations against Jerry Lee Brock.

At a hearing Monday, Thurston County Superior Court Judge Erik Price said the woman said she accused Brock to get more attention from her mother. She decided to recant her testimony to clear her conscience.

The Olympian reports the judge will hold a hearing next week to set a trial date and the conditions for Brock’s release.

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OLEO's Charles Gaither Out-Files Suit

Posted Tuesday, November 11, 2014 by Andrew Charles Huff

King County’s Office of Law Enforcement Oversight head Charles Gaither resigned in October citing resistance and a lack of support carrying out the department’s work. According to Gaither, this raised questions about the county’s commitment to the office and its mission.The Office accepts and monitors internal investigations for the Sheriff’s Office.

However Gaither, the civilian director, appeared to serve a turbulent tenure, according to documents. The County Council plans to conduct two inquiries into matters involving Gaither. He, meanwhile, has filed a $1 million claim against the county saying he faced hostility on the job.

Commonly referred to as OLEO, the Office of Law Enforcement Oversight, which is independent of the Sheriff’s Office and reports directly to the Council, began operations in 2011. Gaither was appointed director that same year. Since then, two of his subordinates have lodged complaints against him. The allegations include accusations that Gaither lost his temper toward a female staff member, causing her to feel threatened by his behavior.

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Who says the DataMaster is obsolete? You might be surprised

Posted Wednesday, November 5, 2014 by Andrew Charles Huff

Is the DataMaster Breath Test Machine currently used in Washington state “obsolete”? Is the technology utilized by the DataMaster outdated? You might be surprised who thinks so…the Washington State Patrol…the very agency that manages and utilizes these machines for use in DUI investigations.

In a memo dated July 21, 2009 from a representative of the WSP Breath Test Section, the DataMaster machines are referred to as “obsolete” and the new technology as the emerging national standard. This memo was in reference to the State’s decision to get rid of the “obsolete” DataMaster machines and replace them all with the “Drager” breath test machines.

But until the machines are replaced, Washington state will continue using “obsolete” technology to gather breath test evidence.

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Former Bellevue councilwoman charged in theft of campaign signs

Posted Monday, November 3, 2014 by Andrew Charles Huff

Former Bellevue City Council member h Margot Blacker as been charged with third-degree theft in King County District Court for allegedly stealing two yard signs supporting the pro-gun rights Initiative 591.Blacker served on the City Council from 1990 to 1997 and told police she took the signs as retaliation for the theft of yard signs supporting a competing initiative, I-594, which would expand background checks on gun sales.

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