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Sheriff's Office holds Citizen's Academy
KENMORE-Last week about 20 recruits for the King
County Sheriff's Office Citizen's Academy began a 13-week journey that
will show them the various aspects of the department.
Since I often cover police issues for the Valley Record, I thought
the academy would be the best opportunity for me to see what happens
on the other side of law enforcement. Most of the other participants also
interacted with the Sheriff's Office through their jobs, whether
they worked for a contracting city or a government agency. But everyone
shared the same curiosity and excitement of learning more about their police
"I heard about the Citizen's Academy at a neighborhood block
watch," said Connie Hiersche, a senior at Shorewood High in
Shoreline. "Knowledge is power and some day some of it might be useful."
We all got a badge well, it is more like a printed name tag in a
plastic cover and a handbook that will unravel the mysteries of the
Leading the group's quest for knowledge are Sgt. Gary Kain of
the Shoreline Police and Sgt. Ken Wardstrom, chief of the
Some of the topics that will be covered during the Citizen's
Academy include hostage negotiations, youth violence and fraud. There will also
be several field trips, and as an option, we can participate in a ride-along
with an officer or learn about firearm use and safety.
The King County Sheriff's Office, led by Sheriff David Reichert,
serves more than 500,000 residents living in approximately 2,000 square miles
of the county. The office also provides police services for 13 contract
cities including North Bend and Carnation.
Part of the vision of the Sheriff's Office is to work with
community members to promote crime prevention and problem solving. One of the
ways the police are building local ties is by providing community police
officers in storefronts throughout the county.
"The goal of the storefront is that people will see it, come by and
come in," said Mark Childers, the community officer for Kenmore.
There is a storefront in the Valley that serves the residents of
Carnation, Fall City, Preston, North Bend and unincorporated areas of
Snoqualmie. Deputy Don "Mike" Hasting is
the community officer in Fall City and he admits that although he wants to
be available at the office, 90 percent of the time he is out and about in the
Most of Hasting's day is spent in the schools, at local community
and business meetings, setting up neighborhood block watches and
advising people and businesses on how to protect themselves from crime.
"Community policing is a philosophy that's not new," Hasting said.
"It's the way we involve people in law enforcement and how we deal
with people in a more humane, compassionate way."
Hasting said community police officers often handle issues that
patrol officers generally don't have the time to do.
"We do a lot of police-related problem solving," he said. "I can
come in and get the people affected by the problem and we try and come up
with what the problem is and then we try to come up with a solution."
The King County Sheriff's Office Fall City storefront is located at
33409 S.E. 43rd St. and business hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to
4 p.m. Deputy Hasting can be reached at (206) 205-1830.