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Valley slightly impacted by WTO conference
While it might not seem apparent at first glance, last week's meeting
of the World Trade Organization in Seattle _ and its concurrent
parades, demonstrations, riots, posturing and vandalism _ did have some impact
on Valley residents.
Although the majority of the region's citizens listened to the
events unfold on the radio or watched the televised coverage in their offices
and homes, several members of the community were directly or indirectly
involved. Those "participants" were officers assigned to the local law
enforcement agencies, such as the King County Sheriff's Office and the
Washington State Patrol. Community police departments, such as Snoqualmie
and Duvall, were also impacted by the rapid redeployment of law
enforcement personnel into Seattle.
The influx of officers into downtown followed Tuesday's violence
and Seattle Mayor Paul Schell's declaration of a Civic Emergency, with
The local agencies were affected at varying levels. Snoqualmie
Assistant Chief Ed Crosson, contacted on Wednesday, said his department
had not yet been directly impacted.
"What we've done in the rest of the areas," Crosson commented,
"we met with King County and the State Patrol up here. When they called
for manpower to assist in Seattle, we were available to back up and answer
any calls they got in this area."
The Duvall Police Department got the SOS call on Monday
morning from the King County Sheriff's Office (KCSO), which asked for
backup manpower in the unincorporated areas around the city. "We were
assigned to a secondary mission," said Duvall Chief Glenn Merryman. "We had
an agreement to assist handling [KCSO's] calls."
"So, we're helping with a geography area of 15,000 people instead
of 5,000," he added.
Duvall brought in additional officers to help with the morning
and evening shifts. But luckily, things were fairly quiet in the unincorporated
areas, and the officers weren't dispatched to any incidents outside of
"Through good planning we were able to make sure daily services
had not been diminished even though it has been tapping into our
resources," Merryman said.
For the Carnation Police Department, however, it was business
as usual. The three deputies assigned to cover the city through the
King County Sheriff's Office worked their normal shifts and weren't asked
to venture outside of the city, said King County Deputy Sue Sherwood.
That wasn't quite the case for the deputies at the sheriff's North
Bend substation. According to Sgt. Grant Stewart, a few deputies _
including himself _ were shifted around or saw duty in or near Seattle.
"We had three or four of our officers that worked out of the North
Bend substation who were assigned to a civil response team in Seattle," he
commented Monday. "The county backfilled their officers on an
overtime basis, when necessary.
"As far as police service went for the unincorporated and contract
communities, it was unaffected. There were transition times when the
Seattle Police would call and say, `We need X number of officers' and we'd
respond to only in-progress emergencies. It's my understanding that
only happened on a couple of occasions."
Stewart himself ended up working in the North Precinct in
Kenmore. While there, he assigned officers and deputies to fill positions at patrol
stations in Seattle.
The embattled conference concluded Friday night and, over
the weekend, Seattle attempted to return to normal. A few protesters
remained outside the King County Jail Sunday morning while the occasional
Army National Guard vehicle could be seen prowling the street, drawing
looks from shoppers.
For officers of the local police agencies, Monday morning also
presented an opportunity to return to their usual schedules and duties.
According to Capt. Jim Schaffer of the Snoqualmie Police, in the end,
the week had proven to be a quiet one for the Valley.
"Apparently the situation did not warrant the State Patrol or
King County Sheriff to pull all their resources from the outlying areas,"
he stated. "They were able to do business as usual."
Valley Record staff writer Michelle Liu contributed to this story.